holly day

 
plate 23

Boniface VIII made it illegal to boil the bones

of any man who had died abroad, so during his papacy

all corpses had to be carried intact, or in bloody chunks

from whatever holy battlefield they met their end.

Anatomists of the day had to make their drawings

of skeletons from the burnt or impaled corpses of criminals

interred above ground as a warning to their countrymen

of what happened to heretics, whores, lunatics, and thieves.

Therefore, all anatomical drawings we have from the 14th to 16th centuries

are drawn only from those quietly subversive sources, picked clean by birds

disemboweled by wolves.

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Big Muddy, The Cape Rock, New Ohio Review, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, Ugly Girl, and The Yellow Dot of a Daisy. She has been a featured presenter at Write On, Door County (WI), North Coast Redwoods Writers' Conference (CA), and the Spirit Lake Poetry Series (MN). Her newest poetry collections, A Perfect Day for Semaphore (Finishing Line Press) and I'm in a Place Where Reason Went Missing (Main Street Rag Publishing Co.) will be out late 2018.

 
poetry
 
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