blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2009  Vol. 9. No. 2






Several Reliefs Depicting Vultures
Göbekli Tepe, c. 12,000 BP

     Some cultures have long believed that high flying carrion birds transported the flesh
     of the dead up to heaven . . . .

World door, crimson your geometry.
Our flesh ascends the heaven-road. The air now thins.

Red-hooded Charon pilots us in spirals, laboring
Up to the precincts
                               where stars commence.

As words that are unspoken, he bears us in his mouth.
Entrails & viscera, we are the salt tang

Of sinew, of marrow, of the word made flesh.
A jigsaw of syllables to be arranged

Once more to human form. The sky gods await us there.
In vast huts & tents
                                 they ready their tools.

Brother vulture spits us out upon the tent floor.
We writhe & quicken to verb & glottal.

Eye socket, nostril: they mold the clay. They bestow
The mouth from which we words shall burrow.

return to top