Ode to My Patella

The Bee’s Knees of Bones

My favorite bone in the body is the patella, a sesamoid bone, a sesame seed

Grasping my bone box by the black plastic handle, I first saw it
Cradled against the scapula
Jagged apex thrust through the notch (army goes over, navy under)

At first I thought a section of my skeleton had chipped off, brittle beautiful flakes off a more substantial ossification
A rollerskate without its wheel
A stiletto without its heel
It was not until later that I saw it as a bone of its own

Babies are born with patellas of hyaline cartilage, soft and pliable
Enclosed in a tendinous sac, they float unmoored
The quadriceps and vast vastuses tethered by a single umbilical cord, waiting
For the day of the spindle’s tentative quinceañera

On the bus I stare at other people’s kneecaps, yearning
To pop their legs upward with my reflex hammer
Like a puppet whose strings were jerked ever so suddenly

It is a compulsion I look forward to indulging during CFM week.




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