corvi (corivax) wrote,

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When I was taking grad medical classes, I was once invited to see a human dissection. The professor doing the dissection was thin and wiry, with gray hair that stood on end, a dignified mien, an eastern european accent, and - I kid you not - the name Cornelius. I secretly decided I was going to name a cat Cornelius, expecially a wiry gray one.

It's amazing how much difference life makes, how strange it is to have skin dry and chill - not cold, not warm, just room temperature. The way this solid, overweight corpse looked as delicate as china with the blueish tinge that lay under the skin, like he'd fall into dust and blow away. I'd never been so close to a dead human before.

The ribcage was cracked pretty vigorously, and there were splinters everywhere. I kept one, palmed it and smuggled it out, a thin crescent moon, polished smooth on one side. The other side, towards what would have been the inside of the bone, is a calcite cathedral - arches and buttresses and spurs and spirals of silvered-ivory bone, traceries as delicate as lace. Perhaps blood vessels ran through it once? I don't know, but it's beautiful, like frost on a window pane. Sometimes when I am giving someone a backrub, aware of the shapes of ribs beneath my hands I think: here too is bone music.

I biked down to Titlow beach, under the half-moon. There were blooming cherry trees with a scent like silver, and dogwoods whose fallen white petals are as wide across as my palm. A train passed me as I rode along the water, all rushing darkness and coiled silver and lonely whistle. At Titlow there used to be a pier, but it is gone now, burned away, leaving only a fairie circle of broken, weathered pillars that rise from the moonlight water. Feathery white anenomes and metaldark mussels and silver sculpins darting in little spirals, and the moon on the water like silk.

Bone music.

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