Mon, 14th October 2019

The Ornithologist, on Composing a New Exhibit

Text by: 

Anna Platt

Photo by: 
African Inspiration on Unsplash


Under back room basement fluorescence,

He creates life on pockmarked corkboard.

Tiny bones bleached by sun and formaldehyde

Are positioned, pinned,

The illusion of swoop captured in fishing line.

Broken beak repaired, super glue on two-hair makeup brush,

Crushed skull reanimated.

Was this how He created man?

Fashioned under magnifying glass;

Femur miniscule in divine hand;

Each vertebra twisted into perfect alignment by careful flick of gleaming tweezer.

We can only hope it took so much concentration.

And if it is so, if we too are shards of matter

Dug up and left to calcify under the hot breath

Of school trips, of tourists, of socialites at philanthropic soirees,

In what glass case are we displayed?


Under back room basement fluorescence,

The air conditioner is the breath of life.

Forcing post-mortem dance,

Tiny bones tinkle like wind chimes.