In Which I Hate My Bones

Bones like sticks, calcite rolls, bones underneath
intolerant skin and loose muscles, bones

made of stones, like transparent lamenting
through years of bed, stories of untold

bones parched without wavering blood, of colloidal
tendons and dead osteocytes, half incurred

bones bowed, fishstick traced to a heavy load
of fish played in water, kingdom of fish bone

in this skeleton is a ricketed bone, traces of acids
and wild ketones, shams of unhurt stones

bones in famine wombs; trochlearis drilled & hanging
moans, plays like dominoes, of overcast weather, bones

floating in lame microgravity of retroviral cells, under rugged armpits
like profit bankrolls, distilled blithesome of magnesite gravestones

bones drying over hot Indian summer, like cut paper scraps,
catacombs of roots layered in buttermilk, sour undertones

connotations un-rocked to bottom of limestones, a
hammering through centuries of dissolution, of bone

fossils braided with a disease, hurting bones stalled on the cliff,
bones— how we learnt it in the hospital white

bones, why we loved you the most, and—the only
memory of you that remains beyond the smell

Ajay Sawant studies English Literature and Journalism at the University of Delhi. He serves as the poetry editor at Antistrophe Quarterly Review. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in LiveWire News, Art & Understanding (A&U), Hawaii Pacific Review, Xavier Review, The Bombay Review (TBR), Modern Poetry in Translation (mpT), The Louisville Review and Fleur-de-Lis Press, and Rattle among many others. Ajay often tweets at @ajaycycles.

“In Which I hate My Bones” won Honorable Mention in the 2021 Chris Hewitt Awards, organized by A&U.

This poem first appeared in America’s AIDS Magazine. Read it here.

Featured image credit: Merlin Lightpainting/Pixabay