Cross Beams

Elizabeth Foote

In Praise of Form


I’ve grown attached to skeletons.
All sweet peaches come to know
how flesh will sweep around the curves
and consequence of urgent, cross-

cut stone. Imagine elephant
or fruit — without the hardy cores,
and all your visions are doomed to sag
and ooze along the floor. The peach,

without its pit is nothing more
than impotence and useless juice.
The elephant: a muddy puddle
spreading for half a mile, grey

and green where the grass is pushing through.
Only bone, like the shadow, knows
that lasting metaphors are born
of architects and alchemists,

of those who love the arch
and beam, and of the fleshy need
to leave and have some thing remain.
A skull and two bones genuflect

from underneath an epitaph.
A tooth of pterodactyl gleams.
My insides rattle from within.
I stretch my lovely spine, and sleep.


previously published in The Eleventh Muse