Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Vertebrae -- a body's exhibit

What is this vertebrae doing, gone missing?  It should be inside someone, not outside someone, sitting on a table like a little amoeba-sculpture, looking like bleached driftwood, hollow as a flute with spaces big enough for a finger, a spiky St Marks ring made of opaque glass or dried sea sponge.  I am holding it on my pinkie finger, wearing someone else's bone on my bones, a bangle, an accessory, it must have been more than an accessory to somebody, it must have been essential.

What happens when a vertebrae goes missing inside a body?  I am thinking of my own vertebrae , nestled in my lower back, that slipped one day, oozing out disc fluid like a jelly donut.  Maybe the vertebrae was knocking around loose like this one, an over-cracked agitated knuckle.  Forgotten until misplaced, swelling flesh and hitting nerves, lighting them up with electricity - spark plugs, a vertebrae is a spark plug.

Or a little home for something very small.  Its curves are beautiful and seem to make sense.  I imagine it a shrunken home by the sea with fluid waves in its walls, a home for other things that need homes - like disc jelly or sea weed or nomads looking to nestle for the night.