TITLE: The Origin of the Skull and Crossbones
MEDIUM: cut paper
DIMENSIONS/RUN TIME: 10 3/4″ x 7″
DESCRIPTION/STATEMENT: Sometime in the middle ages we ran out of room in the churchyard, each new body bumping another below the fold. So a half-blind monk created a sensation in the style section: citations to sources slowly removed, ribs and less aesthetic bones hidden behind two front flap pockets; Crypt of the Skulls, Crypt of the Leg and Thigh Bones, Sleeve Cuffs and Hem. Rich people would pick out a niche and test it for a good fit, while the poor fell into an aesthetic arrangement, everyone joined at the hip with rusty wire. Now we proudly fly this adorable infant onesie, hand-screened with white ink on breathable black cotton, as shorthand to show there is no quarter given. It’s more universal than Mr. Yuck, easy to embroider on socks and secret societies, purses, paramilitaries. Seems we’re doomed to repeat this pattern forever, like a witty floral in spring. If you find this controlling image too controlling, well maybe I’m too rigid, as you pointed out long ago, when you were still alive. Hard to say whether my problem is lack of imagination or too strict adherence to logic. And where are you in all this? Sorry, the space allotted was so small and your story was too long to lie flat. How could I possibly reconstruct it now? Or use it for anything but a warning or a brooch?