The scroll is a shape that keeps returning. It’s old and circular. It contains a vertical nature (this is why we use the electronic verb to scroll, which is how you may be reading this). The scroll corresponds to the hermeneutical act of reading and writing. In the legend of Saint Romanos the Melodious, we are told his voice is like hearing metal scraping upon metal. He is visited by the Virgin Mary in a dream. She offers a scroll for him to swallow. When he wakes, he wakes with a mellifluous song-voice and a genius for composing music of praise and lament. 

			     carried away       carry a tune

Bed space —> Dream space —> The involuted surface of the parchment she hands him —> The choral  hymn inside —> The white musical space for an intake of breath —> Before that blank was parchment was animal skin —> Epidermic space of that blank —> The younger the babe the more transparent the skin, the smoother, the more exquisite —> Bay of gravid cattle, of kine, the kindred ovine —> In utero space after space after space —> The width of the palm, kind palm to harvest the calf after calf after calf —> Skin so translucent so light-sent —> So light, sheets made of meat for the beautiful-letter —>

More by Carolina Ebeid

There Is a Devil Inside Me

           —After Ana Mendieta
Did you carry around the matin star? Did you hold
forest-fire in one hand? Would you wake to radiate,
shimmer, gleam lucero-light? Through the morning
would you measure the wingspan of an idea taking off—
& by night would you read by the light of your own torso?
Did you hear through the curtains a voice, through folds &
folds of fabric a lowdown voice—How are you fallen
from—How are you cut down to the ground?


Would gunpowder flash up in the other hand?
Were you the most beautiful of them—the most beauty,
full bew, teful, bu wtie, full be out, i full, btfl?
Did the sky flutter & flower like bridal
shrouds? Did a dog rise in the East in it?
Did a wolf set in the West? Were they a thirsty pair?
And was there a meadow? How many flowers to pick?
And when no flowers, were you gathering bone chips
& feathers & mud? Was music a circle that spun?

Did you spin it in reverse? Was your singing a rushlight,
pyre light, a conflagration of dragonflies rushing out
from your fire-throat? Did you lie down in the snow?
Did it soften & thaw into a pool of your shape? 
Did you whisper to the graven thing, whisper a many
lowdown phrase: How are you fallen              	my btfl? 
Would they trek closer, the animals? A grand iridium
thirst, each arriving with their soft velour
mouths to drink your silhouette? 

[You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior]

You ask me to talk 
	       about the interior 

it was all roadside flowers & grasses
	       growing over the cities

was made of wilderness & sky
	       with God washed out of it

was the foreign prayer-word
	       it was a list of missing persons

was the solid bronze charging
	       bull on the famous street

was like the Roman method for making bees

was its taken-down carcass
	       & its bed of apple-branches & thyme
was a new anatomy      a beaten hide
	       a skeleton sweetening to glowing fluids

& the bee born out & the grist of them born
	       glistening as coins

it was anthem
	       was the listening

the way a searchlight listens over a lake
	       it was the prayer-word out of your mouth

your thousand-noun request
	       it goes up up to the florescent weather

was hurdle & burn      burning through
	       the infinite      your overbright comet

was made of stones      made of berries & plastic & boxtops & eggshells
	       it was like the word having reached the ear

& the words pollinated the dark      there was darkness there
		             like the afterhours inside a library

Dead Dead Darlings

One sentence held the echoes of a room without furniture. 
One narrowed like a corridor leading from the outside in. 

One sentence grew out of fashion with the disco-ball maker.
One was radial & wheeling, & the verb spun at the center. 

One forecasted an avalanche. One melted on the sand. 
One widened its plot for the burying of corpses. 

This one came zoo-tamed eating with other nocturnals. 
This one came caged like a hotel fire alarm. 

This one was a wound.  
This one a stitch.  
This a cicatrix.