Abyss & Apex : Third Quarter 2007: Hieratics

Hieratics

Darin Bradley

 

 

He tells me the ellipses bridge gaps —
Like stenographic incisions they stitch
the final line — her last breath. An autopsy.

But better men get lost in elision. In her,
His coroner’s tools plumbed depths they’ve known
before: in larger form, with pulleys and lampblack,
they worked other tombs, heaving capstones and vents,
but these belonged in that sand, star–mapped —
the pyramidal shadows of Orion’s belt, closing,

in three even dots, his gap. The grave–
robbers died later. Under halogens, though,
she offered smaller prizes — the misguided stones
lumping her sodden vaults. These glyphic knots sealed
their own doors. They made of her
a shared tomb — a hoard of borrowed things

she meant to return: the lumps and trinkets —
the waters that swam synaptic Niles
to keep things moving. The Great Mother comes

to mind: a torso, breasts, some carbon. Perhaps
this thief can tell me why he found
no pharaonic curse; she protested only in sighs
of parted flesh, in puffs of decay. Remember —
he tells me — there are masks for these things.
There are truths in line breaks. He reported

her death, some sleeping — a warming drip.
A hieratic code for convulsions, rapture, the curling
nerves like mandrake earthing. Knowing
the voice she cried with is important.
While we slept, she ruined the surprise.

 

]

 


 

Darin C. Bradley holds an M.A. in Literature and Literary Criticism and a Ph.D. in Poetics. In addition to his work as an independent scholar, he also edits fiction at Farrago’s Wainscot. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Polyphony 6, Strange Horizons , Electric Velocipede, Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, The Internet Review of Science Fiction , Abyss & Apex, GrendelSong, Bewildering Stories, and The Porch.


 

Poem © 2007 Darin Bradley. All other content copyright © 2007 ByrenLee Press 





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