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Poem + Video: Pilgrimage
Words: Nicole Rollender
Video: Kate Fowler, Rachel Walisko, Taylor Lacey
Here, bones hang from tree branches. Sing the road
we walk to the cathedral. I carry my mother’s parables
in my pockets. The stories say the good must suffer
to enter the Kingdom. She who hides from suffering
is one who suffers the most. That a bear named death is sent
to sweep her away with its giant paw of stars. There’s no
stained glass left in the nave, we’re told. Saint-robbers
pried head reliquaries and hammered angels’ faces,
offering holy fragments to enter the underworld.
Happiness is given in return for choosing death.
Fill your coat with stones and walk into the river.
Along the way, I dreamed of a monk on an unlighted
path, who prayed, Teach me, Lord, all that you know. He put
my fingers through his blood-dazzled wounds. Walk
all night, he bids me, lit by torch and dust. If you believe
you’ll be unharmed, monk’s-blood will make you
invisible. The cathedral will be empty: Kneel before
the empty saints’ heads. Their uplifted eyes know a God
whose mind is passing through the mind of woman.
In the beginning, the saints were named, begat of stars,
stars begat of light, and the Word rupturing the sky,
commanding wind to destroy all other spells.
Just, This is my body. These are my falling bones.
#Unreal #Poetry #NicoleRollender #Religion #Imagery #Fear #Relics #Sacrifice #Video #Collaboration #Riverside
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