The Double Vision of Saint Agnes
Le Catacombe di Sant'Agnese
In this poem I am in the hallway of someone else’s house.
Her sanctum sanctorum is a pinhole
Where – were things otherwise –
A hearth might be.
Instead, heatless light passes through the point
And here, I am the retina.
I am the ganglion of nerves
That can right the reversal.
She easily passed through the eye of the needle.
The shaft now pierces the Weave.
Batten the louvered shutter
Unmoored from its New England home.
I am of two minds, and between them
Symmetry has been disrupted.
Though hallucination – by definition – comes from inside,
There is a girl in here.
She has been twelve forever and she is singing –
What sounds like – water dropping into water
Of an unequal amount – an ocean collapsing
Into one drop.
Saints – by definition – are of service,
Though I am neither welcomed nor unwelcome here.
There is no bowl of ointment waiting to anoint
Such bare, shattered feet. These are no longer Biblical times.
Yet in case you doubt, she appears
Twice. All at once. Forever
As pulsing starlight emits an inaudible hum and
The lyrics to which it might belong go:
This is my beehive cell,
My apoptosis apotheosis,
And on the wall
Which is of cloud,
I have writ a fraction
To show how things
I want this poem to pick up the litter
Residual after the runoff
And recycle, cycle, circle,
Spin until still.
This poem was published in the catalog for Thomas Lyon Mills' exhibit The Catacombs, which took place from August 29-October 25, 2015 at the Tarble Arts Center's Brainard Gallery at Eastern Illinois University.