Necklace

Carolyn Clink

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.