The Vulnerability of Order

for Elaine Equi

Caves, here, contain dead / live 
                snakes, some keys, for instance, 	
                have holes or, 
                the transgressive guardian, mind 
                with wings beneath.

She felt the urge to send musk-confects,
Across the Straits of Gibraltar

Interior, private floods, neshamah (Jewish soul),
                food with cinnamon curry,

Here, Sea goddess hosts aquatic monsters 
Traipse rabble of spooks
& devil's marionette. She attends lectures on anatomy,

Explores the yolk sac, our centerpiece,
Primitive heart. Her

Secret breath sounds the confident demons
                a vowel an opening to the divine

God resides in the odd
Clamor, the Ein Sof

Female indwelling (pre-seance)
Oldest mystery of my ear
Opening the door    shutters      where message is married
Wind between heaven & 	, word & lip
                Lived both forward and compassion om mani padme hum
How moment follows movement

She is bemidbar or in the desert
With bubbe meise (a grandmother tale)

Law without vowel 
Rooking planet-strooken

For this woman, paralyzed and word-full,
                Chained to a mobile home with its process narrative, 
                God is the one who counts
                Numbers, days, seductions, bones

Inscribed in body. Outside
                She's drowning, weeping
                Will stop at nothing for time

Her voice, the wandering part of her flesh
In the Old/New Synagogue
In parchment, in hieroglyph.

Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press ( Copyright © 2000 by Martine Bellen. All rights reserved.