March 8th, 1920
Behold, with my naked hands did I part my ribs,
Baring my heart in a basin of scarlet.
Into this did I plunge my quill,
Drawing it forth pulsing, each drop warm.
And ere it cooled wrote, tempering each note
With a fever or purifying it in meditation.
Behold, like a pageantry cometh
The inscrutable, cowled, grey-garbed
Holy writs, each uttering damnations,
Each damnation echoing promise;
And the cadence of the two becoming warred
Like a gnashing battlement,
Lost in the thin praying of holy nuns,
Lisping white music from their marble-cold hearts,
Letting the beads slip tinkling
Through their iced fingers, letting their lips
Speak, finally, of the Infinite!
Lo, through this fluid which I press,
Singeth dumb conquest, mute agony,
Anguished existence. Bare hands,
Set upon hairy forearms, clutch bloodily
At existence. And I write, giving utterance
Yea, making vent unto this sealed, dumb,
Mute piteous humankind.
Is my heart white? Is the basin
Become a golden thing? Hath the quill
Dropped the last drop and with anguish, breaked?
Then have I spoken!