Woman of Jesus

by Rochelle Owens

It is about skin
and hair of the yoga mistress
from Rosario Portugal
remember how I said her hair
was a long hanging rope
winding down
her collarbone
under her armpits
hanging down
her breastbone
ravenous the skin pulling apart
the skin like
the petals of flowers
ravenous the knives of Portugal
repetitive rhythmical
monotonous hacking off bones
slicing off rotting flesh
remember how I said
the hard horny skin and hair
shedding dead cells
transforming becoming a bud
becoming a bud
a flower a pale green lily
emerging from the mud
a place where oysters breed
from the mud of Rosario Portugal
remember how I said

unearthly pale and red light

her skin and hair
remember how I said magnetic
metal striking clashing
her voice saying
“les Portugais sont de grand voyageurs”
remember how I said
she had washed the bodies
of amputees
winding the bandages
how she had clothed and fed
the maimed
of automobile accidents  of train wrecks
of war
attaching their prosthetic limbs
humming and singing in Portuguese
seeing them come back to life
rising up like Lazarus
like Lazarus rising from the grave
her kindness banishing evil
from the world
unearthly pale and red light
remember how I said
she dreamed of a black bull
of Portugal
amputated at the knees
she dreamed of a laughing dwarf
with a virginal face
unearthly pale and red light
it is about how she stood before
a hive of bees listening
Barbara De Jesus of Rosario Portugal
unearthly pale and red light
the yoga mistress breathing
the long rows of students breathing
bending their hands backwards
like Balinese dancers
skin and hair shedding dead cells
remember how I said
she sat on the heel of one foot
chanting chanting chanting
lingam yoni natal cleft vida morte
vida morte lingam yoni natal cleft
vida morte vida morte

unearthly pale and red light