Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

by Anastasia Stelse

issue 77

The archaeologist, too, came bearing bones.
Textbook curvatures kept clean—His own

a set in blue velvet. I roll them onto the table
in our study. Build hands. Wire wrapped

around each carpal connects to metacarpal.
This way I can pose them, the un-matching set.

Sometimes I intertwine the small left hand
with its crooked pinky with the long right

fingers. They almost fit. The archaeologist
rests his dirt-dressed hands on my shoulders,

the tips caressing collar bones. We must
keep lights dimmed to prevent disintegration.

An heirloom. I weave our fingers.
Already the phalanges begin to crumble.