She knelt in the crucible of bone.
Flames tonguing her length of femur
breathed deeply and felt safe
in this rosary bead universe
in some unknown weathered grip.
Overhead the ovoid sky was smooth,
unruffled and speckled with stars.
Blood red rivulets pulsed
and swelled. She counted
stepping over, the pavement fell away.
Smoke curled inside nostrils, ready
rubbed, Whiskey Flake packed and
tapped, cradled in the palm.
Naked, head heavy on neck
split, sooted shoulder blades rose.
She heard him raking the fire.
Another dawn had come. Somewhere
mother ironed golden feathers.
Tooth-hooked, bone cracked
up. Air sucked, sun-struck, ignited.
Marion Oxley is originally from Manchester but has lived for the last twenty odd years in the Calder Valley , West Yorkshire. She is widely published in anthologies and journals both online and in print. Her debut pamphlet In the Taxidermist’s House was published by 4Word Press in October last year. She lives with Alice her boisterous Staffordshire Bull Terrier and has other family in the Republic of Ireland.