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Waking (Ecrammeville, 6 a.m.)

The bells again. You open up your eyes
                     again. A gap. To be a person
human and then a woman.
                      To be one who has had
Enough of the basement.
                     Enough of the garden
with its high wall though not high enough with all
                     the spy-holes unless they were
                     just accidental cracks
                     through which one could see
the world. It took myth to get one’s self
                     out. It took
                     a vow
to believe in a
                     to get the courage to
                     get out.
Of what? World, you hunger with a briefcase
                     running through the streets
                     quickly hiding those hands
wanting to feel something. The bells
                     rang as they do, one long note, one
short, a man with a tall hood limping and
                     limping and yet always staying
                     in place I
listening. It does not go forward or up or down this
                     call to
prayer, a creature stuck in a doorway
                    made to cough up
                    one truth
                    without alteration. It will not
confess to
                     anything. The thing the bell is
                     saying stays for its millennia
the same, dripping in flames, in holy
                     men, in
                     cries and rage of
                     why yet another son
for no reason with his raw soul had to be
                     ripped from
                     timeso commonplace the pain
& you are supposed to make a system
                     of themall those
                     the god loves and wants
to take a closer look at, ex-
                     amine in
entrail and eye, kneecap in left hand, earlobe in
                     right, I see him look from
                     one to the
                     other then
bend down to pick up hair and these few fingerssee
                     he does not know where they
                     must gomaybe in
this chick of hairhis left hand moving to his
                     right, carrying fingers, nails,
                     into the hair but then
something is
                     not righthe tries the eyes in the
                     palm of a
                     hand, tries eyes
into an open woman’s
                     sex, tries many eyes, tries them in
                     mouth but mouth
has no face, ribs in one hand,
                     calves with heavy feet still on in
dismayedlooks affrontedit will not make
                     its sense
                     to him
                     its makerno
quickly he shuts the whole pile back into the bloody sack
                     and tosses it
aside to where it seems its people hope (he can
                     hear them) (therefore the bells) its people
                     on their knees now
hopetheir person is being judgedand they make
                     offerings, and they re-
                     member all
                     the best
                     parts, all,
                     and they begin
to sing.
                     They give him everything they have. They sing.

This poem originally ran in the July 14, 2011 issue of the magazine.