Between the Bones

Fragments of language and story extracted from the body

–by Temim Fruchter



I was proud of my muscular shoulders, molded by swimming and tennis, and I used to stand facing the bathtub, holding up a hand mirror so I could stare at the reflection of my back in the bathroom mirror. At school, though, I felt like a football player, hulking, musclebound … In my mind’s eye I was a leering giant, gesticulating and capering around the little people, making them laugh, just one jot off a Frankenstein monster.

– Shelley Jackson, My Body, A Wunderkammer


Many small birds, particularly finches, have bouncy, roller-coaster trajectories caused by fluttering their wings and then actually folding them shut for a split second.




He has meaty shoulders. Quarterback shoulders. Big tough words for arches, first impressions, upended roots. His shoulders dwarf his neck. His shoulders are like hills in both the softest and least soft senses of the word. His shoulders make me want to trust him because, any time I’ve tried to visualize trust, it always looked most like a shoulder. More malleable than any kind of rock, to be sure, but not by very much. His shoulders rounded out when he loved you. They squared like pillars when he walked away. His shoulders were always just close enough to the sky, but not too close. Continue reading