Clavicle |
by Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad

Toting my strut 
not in my waist or bum but 
between my neck and heart; 
horizontal bone, traced in pairs, 
and yet each lies 
on either side 
perfectly alone

Sheathed in skin, 
she peaks above sheer dresses, 
shaming folds of 
fabric with her jutting firmness, 
protruding elegance 
though veiled by countless 
cotton threads

Never decorated with blush or gloss, 
never weighted, never teased, 
never worried 
to protect her 
from harmful touch

I flaunt the curve in my bone, 
with an outline 
more defined 
than the swell of my breast 
Un-soft, compact, no marrow,
a surge, a wave, rising 
from an ocean of blood 
and a shore of flesh

Most commonly broken, yes, 
for her unique position, 
as the connection 
in a matrix of muscle and ligament; 
the support from my arm 
suspended, blades move freely
push up and pointedly, 
for this skeletal piece 
is Latin for little key

If I reach, she accommodates, 
rotates on genetic axis 
like the earth, 
but of bone,
the top half of a picture 
frame for the portrait 
of my body and form; 
last bone to ossify 
but first for any embryo

And yes, the case may break, 
but listen to the echo 
when knuckles thrum 
along this bone 

Nothing marks womanhood 
better than a beat 
so close to the heart, 
still safe from injury

Mehmoosh Torbatnejad was born and raised in New York. She holds a BA in journalism and sociology from New York University and a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She has loved poetry since she was first introduced to the rhyming genius of Dr. Seuss’ literature, and has been writing poetry since. She currently lives in New York and practices matrimonial law.