It creeps out through your mouth when you sleep, bone by bone, then reconnects at the foot of your bed. Rail-thin knuckles wrap around your doorknob before it slides through.
Outside, the night air seeps into marrow under the gaze of the yellow-eyed moon. Other skeletons sneak from houses and join in the neighborhoodâ€™s shadows where humans canâ€™t see.
Your skeleton spots another boned-being whose hollow sockets are tilted toward the moon. Couldnâ€™t those sockets look at your skeleton and think, I fancy you? But it wouldnâ€™t be you.
Your bones, void of muscle memory, reach for the otherâ€™s skinless hands and lead its partner towards the moonlit street. Your spine bows before leading a dance. Wind passes through ribs like whistling orchestras and bones rattle a melody. The other skeletons, seeing illuminated skulls sway, facing dozens of windows, join the dance.
Your bones are not yours and no cage of skin and thoughts can stop this dance. It spins its partner, teeth chattering like laughter.
But soon wind doesnâ€™t pass through ribs and the moon blankets itself in light. White hands wave goodbye and what was once your skeleton lets go of its partner, whose hollow sockets shimmer to say, I fancy you. Beneath dusklight, skeletons disperse until next time.
It slips back in between your lips, like a too-long breath. You wake, stretch, and like muscle memory, open the curtains. Through morning sunlight, there is a sliver of moon in the sky, and it isnâ€™t yours.