<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| summer 2007

Valerie Loveland
Anatomy Test, Eleventh Grade

The skinny girl in my class seems reptilian—
armored with an exoskeleton:
rib cage, collar bone dinosaur ridges.
Dangerous wrists and elbows jut,
shoulder blades poke the air like silky stone wings.

It's not fair,
she doesn't have to study.
She is her own cheat sheet—her fingers clink
down each of her xylophone ribs.
When she strikes each bone, it sings, ringing
its name: whisper jingle of the ear bones,
a long low drone from the femur.

Do I even have bones?

My sloppy disagreeable body swells. My bones retreat
into layers so thick, I would have had to start peeling
them away last night if I wanted to pass the test.

I find my knuckles, which I snap over and over,
trying to persuade them to tell me their names,
but they refuse.