Marietta Grinaldi

Embroiderer of silk, died of tuberculosis in Ravenna, Italy at age 20.   
                       Her skull is currently on display at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, PA. 

I. Frontal Bone 

            if it’s all the same to you: let’s link pinkies and haunt each other always, only   
            as mosaics, only as chiffon puckered/punctured with needles. let’s be ladies,   
            let’s be yeses, let’s be butterflies transmogrified from heaps and heaps of goop  

II. Ethmoid Bone 

                    once you said                     you’d come home,                         you’d bake a cake  
                    for my birthday                 but you must’ve forgot              instead, you thought,  
                    we could kiss                      a couple of toads                           thawed out of freezy-mud  
                    for a moment                      i thought about                              how i would miss you  

III. Sphenoid Bone   

                  so much if this ever ended — this sleepover, this afternoon in the neighborhood   
                  where we just drip gold everywhere                      that’s what you are to me — gold   

IV. Parietal Bones 

                   threads and knotted heart’s-paces                 you see i think i will spend the rest of   
                   my life wishing you could be                                at the head of every table i sit at.  
                   if it’s all the same to you: let me float              in your orbit for a little while longer, ok?   

V. Temporal Bones

                   let me dream of you                                           your missing teeth as you grin  
                   against the sunset, against                             the soft spot where my clavicles   
                   meet, against all that consumes                  us, one way or another, someday  

VI. Occipital Bone

                    don’t think about that now, ok? just hold tight. my pinky, your smile,  
                                                    you and me and all these sweet things