Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Unknown to science, a glasslike filament
works its way from the prostate (“guardian,”
or “one who stands before”) up through the tough
but flexible hinge between the stomach muscles:
it follows the xiphoid process, and runs inlaid
like enameling up the sternum, and ends at last,
glistening, ice blue, at the trachea
and the tongue.

No one knows what it is for, what
sublimate may rush through its canal,
what impulsive electrons may skate
its slippery ice. All we know is that mine
is broken, and may never mend.


Dale said...

The xiphoid process is that thing that sticks down from the middle of the breastbone, like a finger-end. It starts off as cartilage and gradually ossifies: it's bone by the time you're of age. It's fairly delicate and you need to be careful of it, if you do bodywork in that region. (On the diaphragm, or the intercostals, or the costal cartilage, for instance. I work the rib cage a lot, as you might be able to guess from how much I talk about it.)

Kathleen said...

I'm struck by the ending, the non-mending. Yet I sense the delicate filament as somehow still there.

Maybe I see parallel serpents running up the body spiritually...one if by spine, two if by sternum...

(Today I have a serpent wound round Lilith in my blog...)

Lucy said...


marly youmans said...

For a moment I thought you were writing about morgellons (and, oddly enough, I have a poem about morgellons.) Very interesting, and I like it that you end with "m/end."

Jayne said...

I'm struck by how poetic our innards are. But I don't want to imagine them broken. :(

Zhoen said...

Uterus and prostate seem to be analogous organs. I shall adjust for gender.

No, mine's still there.

Dale said...

Wikipedia says that the homologous structures in women go by the name of Skene's glands.

Dale said...

@Kathleen, yes, I was picturing a sort of ghostly anterior spinal cord!

@Marly, God forbid! (And by the way, I have no physical maladies anyone needs to worry about: this is all poesy.)

christopher said...

This poem is significant.

I very much like the world that supports this poem and I hope it is at least as real as you are.