Post Road Magazine #18

After Reading about Cannibals +
World, You Need More Calcium

Hannah Craig

Science sets in, in spite of summery ghosts

and paper birds. Despite the lilies which create

a certain spiritual gloom. We learn

there never was a holy word, no syllable

which could set off a room, no incandesce

on cue. The shrunken hearts of the dead,

with little effort, say nothing whatsoever.

Where is the wisdom we were promised?

For decades now we've fed on the brave

and beautiful. Feasted, and then made

our speeches. What's come of it? Nothing.

We should have sought the down-and-out,

abysmal poor, the sick and old, the ruined.

In their lungs and brains, the value of luck

is honed—the risks involved, the sweetness

that they've chased all their lives. We should

have searched for answers in their bones,

uncracked, buried with the family cat,

a blue string of beads. One of those stilled hearts,

with its coagulating honey, might have

taught us how to avoid the worst, if only we c

ould have learned to yearn for saltier meat,

for sharper teeth.

World, You Need More Calcium

Your bones are porous,

the curtains I look through. Your marrow, even,

lacy, full of starch. Along the street,

larches stoop

under the weight of each new snow,

upon snow, upon, well,

a crow passes

like an inside-out umbrella.

Whatever that means—the lightness

of things, the house only

as deep as its cellar. You need

more Hungry Man dinners.

The night is a flying saucer—unpinning

roots from the leaves, bats

from their sleep. The ship

falling back and back. So take some Dramamine,

moor yourself to still-ish things.

What's the drill but a splinter?

Miners in the long,

dark shaft?—a thromboid

of pinsticks. Everything hurts,

I know it. And love no analgesic;

but what would you know

about that? Like you

have a clue about that.

You need more water—surely do.

What is the cause of this smoke?

A burning Persepolis? See, I told you

we do crazy things. I tell you,

you lay honey at my feet and still

I look around for something

sweeter on which to feast.

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