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Cave Paintings

Cave Paintings           


This house that you are building

has prospered;

it rises in an autumn sun.

You’ve followed every pattern,

but a miter saw has no conscience.

Like some ancient Aztec god,

it takes what it can;

it believes that a foundation

must be bloodstained.


Perhaps you raised yourself up

your ladder until, like the Tower of Babel,

you came too close to the sky,

but it is useless to ask why;

the early gods can no longer be understood.


They communicate in pigments made in caves

from blood and fat and clay,

teach hunters to dip hands

to press against the stone.

Their strange thoughts are like our dreams:

written in symbols.

I think the palms that made those prints

reached out to claim a debt.

It was your severed hand you were asked for,

but would not freely give—


a row of dark, uneven stitches

spoke for you in any language:

"this is my own.”

Still, I saw the hospital use a basin

to gather what you spilled.

The practice yet remains.


I am harboring this hope,

that whatever visited you

will be bound by the blood

you spattered on this house—

and must now pass over.


Category: My articles | Added by: Kristin (09.20.2011)
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