Luke Reid


The blurred subnasal margins
of a face
from the earth—

                           pale mandible
curving outward, caked
with dirt,

the right maxilla halved at the left front                            
tooth, which itself has been
clipped at a steep angle,

the one incisor
unworn, spade-shaped,

third molars still
snug in their crypts,

only the first molars
and a carious
milk tooth
                       showing attrition

                             —rupture, eruption.







The jointheads of a swan's humerus
                cut from the shaft
at each end
by scoring and breaking

––first, a sawed-in groove,
notch or tally,
marked with the worked end
of a hornblende adze,

                weighting in against
the weak spot
and waiting,

                the quick hiss and crunch––

a clean opening
clearing way







Tools & Decorations

The metatarsus of a deer for
a bradawl,
tapered to a beveled tip,
scraped into shape,
with the proximal joint
as a handle,
and where, retained,
the marrow cavity

still gapes.

Splint bone of a moose,
its point missing, dulled by use. Fish bone
for a fish hook
or weaving-needle,

the suspended white
              of its eye.

Ulna of a bird's wing
for a bead
to be stained with ochre
and strung—

              and four skulls, human,
              the parietal
              ground and polished to an oval,
              a drinking cup or gorget
              for preserving

                        the throat—