“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life. I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you, cover you with skin, and put spirit in you so that you may come to life and know that I am the Lord. I prophesied as I had been told, and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise; it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.” (EK 37: 5-7)
And like a funeral in New Orleans,
where jazz sounds are synonymous with death
or like the painted skulls among the scenes
of Mexico’s Day of the Dead—each breath
Ezekial took as he prophesied
resounded over those dry bones and shook
them with God’s heady music. Homicide
or natural cause, each skull could rise and look
at its old body with new eyes. What then?
Drum beat of bone, a mariachi dirge
of rattling. Spirit rejoined again
to body sings first, then acts on the urge
to dance—scatter the marigolds of sleep,
then move its limbs, un-choreographed sweep.
Then move your limbs, un-choreographed sweep
of dance—scatter the marigolds of sleep.
The skull sings first, the bones then have the urge
to rattle. Spirit re-joined once again—
drum beat of bone, a mariachi dirge
for your old body, seen through new eyes. Then?
From natural cause, your song will rise and look
at life—God’s heady music. Homicide
resounded over the dry bones and shook
Ezekial’s nerve, but he prophesied
like Mexico’s Day of the Dead—each breath
bold like the painted skulls among the scenes
where jazz sounds are synonymous with death—
and like a funeral in New Orleans.