Volume 69, Number 1 · Fall 2019

Book of Dolls 35

The skeleton in the studio of the lyric
soprano has no heart for singing now.
But still he listens. So the singing says.
Still she pours desire and its figures out,
noting, in turn, the droll arrangement,
attached to tissues that vanished long ago.
Mr. Bones, our prima donna calls him
and laughs, and still he hangs unaware
our sadness is a measure of his charm.
To be here and elsewhere like the last-
gasp aria he cannot hear, but still she calls.
Still she bares for him the inner singer.
Each day she pulls a hood from the cage,
and the finches inside it swell with joy.

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-three books including, most recently, Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (Louisiana State University Press, 2017), which won the 2018 L. E. Phillabaum Award; Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Press, 2018), which won the Elixir Press Fiction Award; Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018); Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse Press, 2018); and Plurality and the Poetics of Self (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). He is currently the Regents Professor of English at the University of North Texas.