, , , , , , , , ,


Within her body rises the ribbed vaults,
a silence and prayer mingle, lifting
from nave to throat, the chant of praise drifting
to song: neglecting form, Spirit exalts –

Siena, all those centuries ago,
when Catherine was prepared to marry
she cut her hair, the locks a prayer: “Carry
my heart to God. My limbs, let go, let go

until they find the face and skin of God.”
She found her lover and left her body,
her hips attenuated melody
her ribs a white cathedral, faith-filled, awed.


An early sunlight slips around our bed
the wooden floors and pale blue walls take shape
to coming day. Eyes closed, I graze the nape
of my neck. Thin frame, bone, this life to shed –

My thoughts trail to Catherine, to forest
monks sitting for eternal days in shade
and sun; I lightly trace the hollows laid
between bone of spiked spine, body at rest,

and somehow, I thought, an interruption,
but to what? Reject the beckoning flute,
and tables lush with figs and game and fruit –
Will this make pure and heal the heart’s corruption?