Leah Baker


Landscape of Anatomy

Your heel came down powerfully
on the femur of
the skeleton we found
to separate it from the ilium
and see what it looked like underneath, the way we turn over rocks
without piety
but pious in our unadulterated fascination.
The eight holes, four in two lines along the sacrum:
a space to let the breath
of the snake in?
a way for us to feel?
You showed me how
the sinews between
the cervical spine
cross, overlap at a diagonal, woven for us to twist
in their weft and their warp
so we can undulate, wild in our human form,
down to the place
where the pelvis separates
to admit new life,
a skull pushed through the pelvic bowl,
splitting to unleash a new animal.
Where did half of this animal
go, with only four ribs leftover?
I imagine
what corpse dragged that corpse away from his corpse.
a divine altar in the sand
to remind us of the death
we have tacked up on the headboards of our future.
Let’s smoke two cigarettes
more, see ourselves
arriving, wriggling
at the center of a feast of worms.
Here I am in this body,
desert, standing,
here I am in these bones.

LEAH BAKER teaches writing at a public high school, and has had her pieces featured in such publications as Mixtape Memoirs, Moonchild Magazine, Snapdragon, The Bookends Review, Lot’s Wife Magazine, and The Mystic Blue Review. She enjoys traveling, yoga, performing with Tempos Contemporary Circus, petting cats, and gardening. Leah resides in Portland, Oregon.