I went where she reigned
far underground, deeper
than roots, in rooms hollowed
by hand and bone, where curved walls
contained my breath like lungs.
Passageways opened onto chambers
honeycombed in stone
where there was no light
and blind air read my skin.
Who painted the womb-shaped
echo-chamber with ochre veins?
The spirals on concave walls seem
to move with sound waves, fluid
as amniotic water, persistent as blood.
So far down, this far back, definition
fades. We braille a truth, one version
from things only guessed at.
In bone-dug bethels where perhaps
they incubated dreams, a woman
sleeps. In my palm, earth to earth
I hold her double: a small, clay statue,
rotund buttocks, fall of ample breasts
all luxuriant volume, prompting again
the old question: is she diviner or divine?