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






Trepanned Skull of a Woman with a Prosthetic Seashell Ear
Roque d’Aille, 6,000 BP

The facts: someone made a drill of flint
And bore into her cranium for hours,
                                                          a procedure

She survived, living on some twenty years.
Someone fashioned a device with which she might detect

The wave-crash of a sea three hundred miles away,
Worked shell to a phosphorescent simulacrum

Of auricle and cartilage, a lobe she’d worry
Until her fingers rubbed it smooth as skin.

Of untold mysteries we are composed. Gray matter,
Soul, ether. The light staggered out from the depths,

From synapse, memory, REM state.
                                                         & was affliction cured?
& did she prophesize—oracle, priestess, sphinx?

Wounded goddess, did she unclasp her shell-ear as she lay down to dream?
The words are rebus.
                                   All we can hear is the guttural sea.

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