UAD Issue 8

Issue 8

from Cantos
by Sandy Florian

Catacombs

The loci of the unnamed world and the wandering world of hell.  Or.  The vaulted church shut twice beneath the earth.  Or.  A thousand tombs for monsters in extinction.  Or.  The crisscrossed graves of a honeyed chaos.  Precisely.  But.  If the abandoned catacombs could with such ease be so forgotten, you draw your bloodied dagger from my armored body.  Then.  You circumambulate the tragic forest.  The one whose fires never burn.  The one whose bees never sting.  You move toward the myrtle tree and drive your dagger through.  While I, trapped inside this wanton trunk, call out from this wound with a language that defies.

If the abandoned catacombs could with such ease be so forgotten, you too forget that I, the sylvan daughter of this grove, have been the handmaiden of your hearth.  Or.  The handmaiden of your heartbreak.  And.  While you won the world with your peripatetic walls, my gates could only widen.  And.  My hope could only hemorrhage.  For.  The child now dies.  Of famine.

The hollow of a drinking vessel.  A cup, or bowl, or boat.  A handbag, or a wallet.  Subterranean Rome.  All such necropoli thus built by pangs of piety.  And.  Unrequited love.  For the corpse in stale decay.

A place of refuge in times of persecution.  Or.  The sight of funeral feasts and frolic.  In Paris, the site for sewage, skeletons, and skulls.  For the sake of modernity, a compartment for storing wine.  Or.  The blood of Christ.  And.  The sap from the tree that bears fruit.  But.  If the abandoned catacombs could with such ease be so forgotten, I must with word remind you.  While the air above waxes stillness, this tree that suffers your interment perishes from your remembrance.  For remembrance is a life of grief.  And.  My residence becomes the grace your grave eye.  Or.  The apple.