Magdalene Retreats to the Cave by Tawni Waters

Climbing toward the lip of that cliff,
I recall
how have followed my love 
over the pockmarked surface of this earth,
kissing his feet, 
being felled by stones thrown by madmen
who call my sight insanity.

Far more than a whore, my mind has known

mysteries reserved until now for dead things.  
My skin has grown miles beyond my shell, 
so that it touches All at all times.  
I hide my sight, pretending to see only 
three inches in front of me.

Hungry men, leave.

You will never see anything
but flesh when you look at me.
It is easier to huddle here alone 
with the winged ones than to scramble 
sighted 
through the mud with blind things. 
With no brush, how can I paint 
a rainbow 
for the sightless?

As moonlight wrinkles the skin of the sky

I bring my sacred bones to rest upon jagged stones. 
I sing my secrets to the stars.
They whisper back.  
I lay me down now in this rocky crag, 
surrender myself to the breast of the earth.

My love has left me for heaven.

I am alone.  
The only solace I have ever known 
wraps around me like a cloud.

I fall into the arms of God.

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