“Delicate” by C. Murray


We trace our path from the harbour to
a dark-stepped lane opening out onto
the old churchyard. Green and blue
sea-glass, a rough blush pink is clearlit.

We find small rib bones scattered there.
I pick up the cap of a skull. Small, its
sponge ossified to a mineralized honeycomb.
I cup its yellow cream in my hand. Delicate,

a sea snail, most precious egg, as if
it had touched the ruby feather of a
bluebird. A most precious thing,
bird-egg-shattered, dust in my pores.

We place the bones down on a portico shelf.
Are they human bones, those of an infant?

We lay them under the wing of a sheltering grave,
a small bone heap. We move through the labyrinth.

An excerpt from “Delicate” was published by HiRISE (MRO, NASA) as part of the “Beautiful Mars Project” (Mars Poetica)

Image © HiRISE

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