Sacred and Profane

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(Gordon Parks.  Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli, Italy, 1949)

 

In the dark,

I become like the

priest

repressed far too long,

liberating

atop

ayahuasca clouds.

 

Skewed contours

shifting,

fluid,

I watch

illimitable relief.

 

Look at her face;

the ecstasy,

irriverenza

unrestrained.

 

Existentially,

a sliver

divides

reverie and pain.

 

I want to tear

the shadows

from all who

haunt and hollow the

alto-releivo

of your being.

 

Waiting for impact,

I scale

Rome’s horizon,

fast approaching

the moment

I left

light’s womb.

 

I am reminded of a quote that said, “Not saints, not whores, just women.”   So often, I have known instances where shame is used to disempower and silence women, especially in reference to their sexuality.  I explored this, as well as some of my own personal expressions of it in this poem.  Issues of sex, society, feminism, and violence against women have been on my mind for a while, and I hope to create more poetry and ponderings soon about these topics.

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Unabridged

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I won’t be found there.
Ever.
Supple and ready
like an O’Keefe,
I am face down,
liquid,
petals,
clawing from human,
my own true nature,
like orgasming through tears,
hardly seeing
shame and retribution
twirl
in the visceral gravity
of it all.

I don’t know
how to respond
anymore.

Swollen, moist,
age nineteen,
I wanted to drown in the
curve of her hip,
to trace an insatiable
spark.
At thirty-four,
I let it be known.

Two men
in thirty-five years.
I am called a whore.

I do not know how
to respond.

There is something behind
my eyes,
tethered,
unreachable,
freedom rocking her child
to sleep
in a burning cathedral.

I return
wearing scripture
each time
I die.