I. I’ve decided only to write in pencil. Permanence is a luxury, too rich for me to bear.
Peeling wood paneling turns to dank cement walls in blinks. This morning’s unreachable dream considers rearing its head, but loathes the effort.
Atop the splintered nightstand-amidst the dancing coffee rings and burn marks- lies an old pewter hound.
With his exposed ribs tarnished by years of my forefinger’s need for reassurance, Bones sighs through drooping jowls.
II. My mother named him years ago and snuck him beside me, knowing his rickety vertebrae is more comfort than any fur.
I wish myself to her kitchen and drink hot coffee, while Bones rests beneath the Jade plant on her windowsill.
She calls the sacred things among the twisting branches and fleshy leaves her treasures, and I think the turtle shell should be there.
Bleached from the sun where I found it as a child, among the crunchy leaves, It feels like fine sandpaper now.
The underside reveals an inverted spine that must’ve matched mine- like the hound’s boney ridge beneath pewter skin, so thin it might tear.
I broke it into three interlocking pieces, fitting together perfectly. The earth cracked beneath my feet.
III. I remembered running ahead through the woods-just a toddler- proudly waving it to my young mother like a prize.
I can feel myself run into her legs, clutching corduroy. I reach toward the autumn sky to a cold cheek in the breeze…a dry kiss on my face.
My little fingers wrap around the edges of the skeletal shell, exploring as I bounce against her chest, trudging along.
It is the edge of the dog’s hip, skinny and bowed. It is the edge of existence-mother and child.
I am neither of these beings…or rather, both. My nose always gets cold first and her knees eventually give way to the moisture in the air.
Attention UT Artists and Writers!
If you want to be published in the Quilt’s Corner, then please email your poetry, fiction, or artwork to Quilt@ut.edu.