by Natasha Arnold
So when I see the legless leather body that is Clonycavan Man inside the glass case and my brother reads the plaque aloud about the archaeologists sifting through the peat to find vegetable oil styling the tuft of hair clinging to his head and determining that he must have been wealthy to have been able to afford it and that he was short in height and about the forensic specialists guessing he’s in his early twenties like I am and taking the dents in his skull to mean he was murdered I wonder why we burn or bury our dead instead of throwing them into bogs since all we ever want is to be immortal just like my brother says right now to Look at this blighter for feck’s sake died before Jesus Christ even happened and here we are still looking at him and my brother is right because we want to be looked at forever until the universe dies and beyond but look at all we know about Clonycavan Man who’s tiny like me and who styled his red hair like I style my red hair and we can guess only that he probably died for being rich or pretty or femme like they call me and we don’t know why he died just that he did and how and now he’s no different from a leather satchel and my brother huffs and says Feckin figures and I wonder if he’s thinking the same as I am about how Clonycavan Man could be a brown and legless me but instead he taps me on the shoulder and says I know a real bit of craic and he takes me to the Viking Ireland room where a warrior all bones just his skeleton lies in a glass case of his own in the position that they found him buried in with his dagger and his sword beside him but that’s all he is I think just bones just white just hard parts and my brother’s face reflects onto the ribcage like it’s imprisoned and the hard white bone parts don’t say anything about the dagger and sword and so I ask my brother You think he died like a real man don’t you and I don’t care what he says to me because I could travel forever on the sound waves I just made.
– Natasha Arnold is a second-year student in Old Dominion University’s Creative Writing MFA program. She currently lives in Norfolk, Virginia. This is her first publication.