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  You could have a big dipper   

Fibula on The Beach by Gunnar Lundberg

I was walking the beach, part of my duties, combing the rocks with my plastic forceps– grabbing Styrofoam, a metal wire, some blue yarn. Then I stumbled upon it. A haggard white rock that looked remarkably like another piece of Styrofoam. I pinched and lifted, exposing a long, fibular object– its hollow core and calcite finish catching the lake’s breeze. I swear it vibrated. I plopped it in my bucket and made my way up the bank.

“I found a bone” left my mouth like a question, hanging a moment longer in the back of my mouth, but there was no uncertainty.

“Oh they wash up all the time. We usually just throw them away unless they’re clearly human– like a skull or something.” My bone was not clearly human. But I knew it was. It told me, and the truth stuck to my fingers like chalk. I had visions of a shipwrecked sailor lost centuries ago, or a murdered woman tossed to the lake. That’s how bodies disappear, anyway, men to duty and women to men. “The cemetery on the lot next to ours had a rough spring. We found their iron fence washed up on our shore earlier this year. And a few headstones.... You can keep it if you want– I already have three in my office.”

I tucked the bone into my jacket, shaken by the causal air of morbidity but too mortified to let it go. A bone. Washed to shore. Held by flesh again. The chalkiness wouldn’t leave my fingers, even after I washed them– truths are funny that way, they never fully leave you. Sunken bones, skeletons, waiting to surface. Clasped, finally, by a hand unwilling to submerge them again.


Gunnar Lundberg is a graduate student in Modern Literature at the University of Glasgow. He enjoys Ina Garten memes, hiking, and reading poetry in hammocks. He has previously been published in Ayaskala, Global Hobo, and Xene. Follow him on twitter @gunnarupnorth.

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