by C. Ikpoh

His closet was always hollow. Never had an object resided there, not even for a singular moment in time. Forever, air has circulated amidst itself unobstructed. Since the man can remember, the darkness of the enclosure's embrace has held emptiness in its arms. Today, however, everything changed. There now exists a resident in his closet. It is the most gorgeous of sights. In his closet now after all these years is a skeleton.


Bare and stripped, the skeleton is simple in its appearance. It is an organized structure dangling within the newly disorganized realm. Each bone symbolizes an element to its purpose: love, lust, friendship, hurt, pain, jealousy - all represented in the framework of his sole secret. It was born of an understanding involving forbidden futures and indulgences, and regardless of how much sense it makes to oblige his desires, the skeleton will never bear
bones telling tales of those encounters. No, it is only a statue in this sense. It is his secret statue.


Light creeps through the black air as the door opens. It slices directly to the skeleton; the illumination reveals a beautiful enigma. A sensible habitat for the monumental mystery, the closet encases the skeleton as a safe does the most precious of objects. Every now and then, he needs to see it out of sheer admiration. He loves having his closet filled with a skeleton, but only one. Anymore would make his closet too common place. Any less, well, less was his entire life. Now, though, he had his gorgeous possession detailing his precious secret. Never has such a tantalizing, phenomenal skeleton existed. Neither the richest nor the most blessed have ever held within their closets a skeleton of this grand a stature.


Contemplating such thoughts, his eyes rest upon the skeleton. Taking it by the hand and pressing it closely to his breast, they waltz together in privacy, moving about the room as water does over rocks in a stream. Their relationship is fluid. Not wanting to risk the discovery of his skeleton though, he only relishes in such dances for a moment. After sharing all the things they must, he and the skeleton part ways. Before long it is within the closet once more, as beautiful, unknown and valued as any before it. Within his closet beats his heart - a heart within a skeleton.