There’s slim hope for the small --
a ring of bone, its peg.
We name the part and its breach:
Axis and Hangman’s,
C2 and traumatic spondylo-
When Atlas shoulders the world
he feints left, and right,
on a pivot that’s thin as a tooth,
Sometimes axle tree means the sun.
I prefer the gallows
where Odin hung for nine days once, ashen,
but kept his head.
My axis met its Ragnarok head-on,
cracked, and held.