Translation
            1
 
As if a god washed up.
   As if a god
out of the blue, fin-winged,
   its great horse head
   wreathed with dark weed
 
            2
 
and the men came with tools
   as if for slaughter
hacked at the meat, tossed back
   upon the water’s
   receding laughter
 
            3
 
then piled the bones in dung
   the precious bone
let maggots have their say
   out of the sun
   for a season
 
            4
 
dug up, scraped clean, boiled down
   removing all
ribbons of flesh, sinew,
   the vital oil
   from spine and skull
 
            5
 
and the men made a rod
   the women spun
into a helix curve
and strung the spine
   like pearls upon
 
            6
 
it, so when hoisted up
   vertically through
the sunlit atrium’s
   translucent blue
   for all to view
 
            7
 
it seemed a thing of grace,
   it seemed a thing
swam over us in flight,
   some fluent being
   on bone white wing.
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