The Catacombs, 1973
by Linda Mastrangelo

    This church of bones, of child's
    fingers searching each socket for prayers
    in spider dust. An ancient cough
    stirs these stones, spiraling
    through the rib
    cages, that wet our skins.
    ____The scent of two thousand
    year old rage of moaning
    Romans, quieted in a garden of bone.
    ____Towers of popliteus
    and palm, worshipped and worn
    into a vestige, offering
    them into our throats and lungs;
    ____a cannibal
    would have craved
    less than I. Begging
    the dead to write it down.

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