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  • Writer's pictureHil Hoover

a dream of skeletons

it’s that time of year again

I want to strip you of your skin

can’t bear to look at your bare flesh

without wishing it barer still, bloodied

and then, bloodless, bleached, sun-dried

perhaps, alongside my own dry bones

the two of us dancing rattle-clack-rattle

as those parts of us that belong to the world

are left to rot, hearts that have betrayed us

time and again: hearts can do that, but

bones, those are truer than true

can fracture, crack, break but are not

prone to stuttering and stopping,

giving away secrets with sudden beat dropping,

and we can consume more minerals

or learn to make a better cast

but there is nothing that can be done

once the fluttering of a pulse has stopped

or the butterflies in the stomach have

fled, that too being a kind of heart-malady

so listen, come be a skeleton with me

before the proper holiday for it has passed

let us live this gothic romance before we miss

our chance for sweetness that I fear we might

outgrow should we wait for some other season

(maybe it’s just a dream

and you’ll wake safe in your bed

with nothing but sore teeth

just a little too much candy

like any Halloween

but if it isn’t, if it isn’t,

are you hoping it isn’t a dream.

just a little, like me?)

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