• Melissa Volker

Throwing Down the Bones

You keep waiting for me to speak, but my words died a long time ago -- about the time you stopped listening.

But I know more than you will ever forget, which makes you laugh until you choke. Choke until you die. Until your bones rattle in a desperate struggle for one more lively waltz, your hands in the air, daring the heavens to strike you down; bones that grow hollow and riddled with empty pockets that once housed the minutiae of your broken spirit, but now whistle with cavernous winds.

"What do you want me to say?" Your tone seeks pleading but your eyes are glass -- far more than half empty.

Nothing. I want you to say nothing. I want you to stop talking as I have stopped talking because the words are great bags of rocks tied around our ankles and pulling us further down. I want you to say nothing. I want you to see. I want you to see the festering rot that has infected the air with every word.

But I'll tell you this:

I know there is more blackness captured behind the blink of an eye than in the entirety of the night sky. More than all that has collected since the moment the universe heaved its first breath and exploded with such ferocious light, that the blackest of black bled across time in answer.


In there is death itself.


That momentary blindness, the world gone, only you and your breath, and your sudden lack of all-ness. It is all suddenly so clear.


You will look at me, hard, a bluster of defiance and so sure of you, and it, and the world, until the bones not yet rattling shudder inside your skin. You will falter, straighten, feign assuredness as your jaw clenches through the words, "Bullshit. This is all bullshit…"

This is the dance -- our dance -- but this time my breath will draw those poisoned words inward, rending them into their sorry bits and filling me with certainty -- of your shallow sadness and empty bravado.

I know more.

Than you will ever.


I say nothing, though, only look, watching you -- blink.


Seeing the tiny death with each -- blink. Knowing that without a word I will sear the lies from your skin, your flesh left raw and steeped in truth and you will realize -- too late -- your own imperfections. You will see, but refuse to acknowledge, and you will laugh until you choke. Choke until you die.

While there is more blackness captured behind the blink of an eye than in death itself, there is also more light in one instance of truth that in the blast that set time in motion.

It will burn you to nothing, down to the bone, and I will throw down those bones and I will know…

I will know more than you will ever forget.

In the blink of an eye.


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