La Brea

Awake in the night, pain
I know the places of.
Long bones and short
and their intersections with muscle and tendon.

I lie there imagining the shapes
of sockets and hinges
and the lines of ligaments,
the toll roads I ride and pay for.

There’s a pile of X-rays and MRIs
under the coffee table in my workroom.
Me and the dogs—our bones,
our ghostly and beautiful spines in a heap.

We’re settling, we’re going down
together in the shadowy tar around our images,
la brea, the ever moving tar,
the bone sink and churner.

We’re going down, unarticulated,
indistinguishable then. All the old dogs going down,
greyly illuminated, our bones shining,
sleeker than we knew.

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