The scarecrow asks me about bones.
He wants to know the feeling of them –

the breakability, and the sturdy purpose
of joints. He asks to touch my wrist,

where the bones crowd into bumps
so lightly covered, and the fused tectonics

of my skull beneath its forested helmet.
We speak of blood and marrow, beak

and hoof and scrimshaw, and how
a knucklebone might be thrown

to divine the future. His head tilts
as he gazes at his own gloved hands,

the stake that helps him stand
a sort of spine, temporary as bone.

J.I. Kleinberg, a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, is co-editor of 56 Days of August (Five Oaks Press 2017) and Noisy Water: Poetry from Whatcom County, Washington (Other Mind Press 2015) and co-produces the Bellingham-based SpeakEasy poetry series. Her poetry has appeared in OneDiagramWA129OtolithsRaven Chronicles, Calamus Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and blogs most days at and

Photography by Sean Brown.

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