Chambers

today We heard Ten Utterances from G-d on Mt. Sinai! the ear is a labyrinth leading to the pineal gland. open it up! get enlightened!

***

The baby’s ear looks like a baby
I thought

:curved cartilage seems
a spine in seed;
that faceless lobe —

That’s when God slapped me.

Except it was more like
a pickpocket’s opposite:
Spy drops we called them
:shoved secrets, in
parks, in the dark.

But those secrets were wanted.
She wasn’t, at first.
A crime, the Party always said
to bring children into this world.

So, sentenced, prison’d, here I sit,
spooning her (and the floor) warm gruel.

She meditates upon the fallen plops
(her stare like an unrented room.)

And I, upon her ear

Which as yet
is more like
an idea for an ear
:a sea glass question mark,

future perfect of the verb to be


Each corner of my house, a cross.
My windows’ open mouths shame mine.

And every night, my bed a ledge,
my body half-dissolved —

the screaming starts

But I will tell you that in a prison they crucified a cat before ourselves. They beat nails in the feet of the cat and the cat was hanging with the head down, and can you imagine how this cat screamed and the prisoners, mad, bead on the door, “Free the cat, free the cat, free the cat,” and the Communists very polite, “Oh, surely we will free the cat, but give the statements which we ask from you and then the cat will be freed,” and I have known men who have given statements against their wives, against their children, against their parents to free the cat. They did it out of madness, and then the parents and the wives have been tortured like the cat. Such things have happened with us.


Guilt — a fractured bone’s
cool heat —
tells me to tell, and to run
but where?

They call it the wrong side of History
(with that uppercase pillory rune)

And who am I?
A pudding of a man.
A cross between a turnip and a toad
and born to die a fool

But that day in the kitchen
what I had been fell from me
like dirty rags

:a whorl of linen, thin.

I saw my daughter’s ear. I saw
the fingerprint of God.