I wanted to be an archaeologist until my mother told me my office
would be in the basement of a museum and my lungs would fill with dust.
Still, I learned the names of dinosaurs and identified the difference between
a shoulder blade and a pelvis in middle school science. I dug into the fetal pig’s
cold belly while a boy pulled my hair. I bleached the skull of a mouse that I found
in the woods. I remember when I found a dead spider perched on its head like a crown. When
I promised my mother I wouldn’t dig up bones for a living, I only meant in deserts and far away forests. I only meant to not dig up what others bothered burying. I only meant the bones
that didn't belong to me.
Sara Ryan Sara Ryan is a third-year poetry MFA candidate at Northern Michigan University and an associate poetry editor for Passages North. Her work has been published in or is forthcoming from Slice Magazine, Sonora Review, Third Coast, Fairy Tale Review, Yemassee, Prairie Schooner, Hunger Mountain, and others. Her chapbook, Never Leave the Foot of an Animal Unskinned, is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press.