Back to Issue Thirty-Three

Windeby I



Once, I had eaten little stones, coarse
grains, bird bones. I waited forever for
the anthropologists, suspended in peat
like fruit in a dense bread. They cut the
ground into thick slices,

caught most of me in a different slice than my right hand and leg, which
were lost— eaten again by the bog. How could they not cut more off
me— the bones they lost were bones they needed. My fruit had long
dried and fallen from me. It was a lesson to the anthropologists

who could not help but open my body. As anthropologists,
they began to know me by these slices. Without my fruit, I
became a delicious question. They studied what I had eaten,
what had dulled my teeth and preserved my bones when I
was still alive. The first careful cut

exposed my tanned insides. They cut delicately, those
anthropologists, to spatchcock me from my bones. They
thought my hair had been sliced from my head as
punishment. They thought I’d eaten grains all my life. I was
so thin. I may have not known fruit.

I may have believed the gritty oats I ate to be the only fruit
growing in the world. They cut my head open. I remembered
eating red berries in summer. They had flesh, meat. The
anthropologists thought hard as they sliced flesh from my bones,

skin from flesh from bones—
nothing could reveal what the fruit
could tell about me. Anything they
guessed, anything I was— dead. I was
dead, made of everything, made of
everything I had eaten.


George Jensen is a poet who has lived many places, but, right now, he resides in Galesburg, Illinois where he is finishing out his undergraduate education at Knox College. He will be graduating in May of this year.


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