My necklace of strung bones, some bleached and fragile, some so new blood and gristle cling to them. The smell is like daisies. The necklace warns the faithful – stay away. These bones are not mine. I click through my rosary and remember each person as they were before I split them open with some quick-witted deception, leaving them wondering how they lost control. Never trust me. Never trust a woman who wears bones, who carries her memories around her neck – invisible, or not. You are not listening to me. From you, I will take the Hyoid bone, so all you can do is listen. Listen to the clacking of bone on bone as I recite my story. In my youth, the bones were daisies, yellow against my soft skin. I dreamt my body would rest in a grave brimming with flowers, planted there by my children. Instead, I trusted a man who buried me secretly, buried me in pieces, scattered my bones. I work my magic on you and take the one chosen bone. It is not my job to judge you, your time will come. I'm just another dead woman assembling a body bone by bone.
Carolyn Clink won the 2011 Aurora Award for Best Poem/Song for “The ABCs of the End of the World.” Her genre poetry publications include: Weird Tales, Analog, Imaginarium 2012: the Best Canadian Speculative Writing, Polar Starlight, On-Spec, Tesseracts, Tales of the Unanticipated, Room, and all 5 volumes of Northern Frights.