Sep/Oct 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 5 PoetrySeptember 1, 2016 |

The Birth of the X-ray

It might as well be bone, this wedding ring. The way it haloes the finger, white on white, that belonged to the wife of the inventor. Or should I say explorer, for he exhumed a wilderness, and though people called the new rays by his name, Röntgren Rays, he christened them X, as in Madam X, whose hieroglyph suggests a headless body or some such variant in its equation: the poison, the treasure, the error, the taboo. X as in the point of impact, the boxer clocked, the belfry knocked unconscious at funerals and weddings. What do bells know. It could be both at once for all they care. The finger in the finger could be a bride whose halo cannot touch her. Halos float. They must. Such is their unbridled nature: to be the gold that blossoms through the crown, the phantom bell that says, one, one, one. X as in ecstatic. Which we might be, times like this, when the unknowable lays us bare as sleep and weddings do, and screen doors blown open in t

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Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-one books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way Books, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), and Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018). Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.

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It might as well be bone, this wedding ring. The way it haloes the finger, white on white, that belonged to the wife of the inventor. Or should I say […]

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It might as well be bone, this wedding ring. The way it haloes the finger, white on white, that belonged to the wife of the inventor. Or should I say […]

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