Columna Vertabralis – Rebecca Reynolds

The spine
is a curving schema invisible behind its thick impediments
a cursive, yellowing life in the in-between 	ruled by Snake
who beckoned Eve	to bother the tree of laws and this
is the law that shook
fruit from the branch and dropped us leafless
such that leaves were plucked from honeyed figs to field
the barest genitalia             	in here, the path
will lurch from rung to rung       in pedicles and arches
for the nerves     and yet from this perspective
neither certainty nor uncertainty    	modesty
nor immodesty                        only a pink/red/blue that gossips
with ligaments and marrow            	blood stones, cells, and teethers 
cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal, chakral
bodied by birds
with my life in its wintering wrap of nothing-flesh
to feel the exterior nip in brocade tatters
snow on grass and the rotting
shed 	whilst garden implants the winter thin.

Rebecca Reynolds has published two books of poetry with New Issues Press: Daughter of the Hangnail, and The Bovine Two-Step. Her first book, Daughter of the Hangnail, received the 1998 Norma Farber First Book Award, from the Poetry Society of America. Her poems have appeared in print and online journals and reviews, including Quarterly West, Boston Review of Books, Web Conjunctions, Jacket, American Letters and Commentary, The Literary Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Notre Dame Review, and Verse, among others.

Photo by Leonardo Quatrocchi on