Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Crypt ~ Marykathryn ~ 2.14.06

Valentine’s Day. Indeed. Don’t know what to say about that. I want to write about St. Paul’s Cathedral and the feeling I get when Walking on the Dead.

i would that i could
float; rectangles of
laid against one another and
above mortal flesh
entombed, entombed, entombed,
but i cannot. my
footsteps are an eerie
echo in this place
of must and mystery, of de-fleshed
history; a chill
walks its slim fingers windingly
up through my gut to rest, fluttering
solidcold in my throat.

my spirit quails within me and i am walking
(so heavily! bone, sinew, flesh encased in
breath)i walk
on the dead.

~marykathryn huffman 2.20.06 5.30pm

It felt like desecration, like insult after insult after insult and a rending of fragile heart-strings. I tried stepping on the cracks but it did no good. There was no going around them. I felt my boots treading on people’s faces, indignity and horrible lack of respect residing in the hollow space between my shoes and that-which-is-(I know)-no-longer-they. These people, who ought to have been laid to rest in deep soil, lost instead beneath a multiply burned out and rebuilt cathedral. . . No grass, but carvings of flowers, never changing. Can I make it out without crying? My heart moans. Suddenly, after perhaps half an hour, I realize I have been standing on someone’s face, listening to our guide talk about someone else’s achievements without so much as a murmur inside my chest. Not even a blink of discomfort. I have grown accustomed to walking on the dead. (Indeed, so have we all. . .)

c Mary Kathryn Gough (maiden:Huffman)

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