Bone Harp by Silvia Bonilla


We take shelter in dead cows and
lift ourselves with hooks to keep out of sight.
At check points, our dangling bodies
hold legs to chest, as instructed, to avoid detention.
All language snuffed out
by the blue perch of meat. It’s a miraculous
thing to be wrapped in it.
After we pass, relief rustles
the epidermis—enough to warm us
for some time.
Who trained our bodies for this?
Poverty is violence.
We know the look of dead
things behind pinned drapes and how to make
history in one day. We bent at the knees
to kiss our children’s faces.


SILVIA BONILLA is the author of An Animal Startled by the Mechanisms of Life, published by Deadly Chaps in 2014. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Fiction Now, Leveler Poetry, and White Ash Magazine, among others. She has received scholarships from Slice, Vermont Arts Studio, and Tupelo Press. She lives in New York.