|I know the first ones and those after them, know me.|
From the Gnostic poem, Thunder, The perfect mind.
On certain mornings, she steps into this shop
and stands near its back room. Her shadow
carpeting floorboards – as if the ancient wood
drew her presence there , thirsting for more
than lemon oil and scent.
Dressed in loose garments woven
from the papyrus plant, she drapes the corner
like a maiden featured
on an antique fresco or urn.
People notice but say nothing
The proprietor keeps his distance
and doesn’t disturb her vigil. He knows
she will stay a few hours then leave.
They only spoke during her first visit.
Sunlight torched the place with dazzling brightness
and he saw her clothing embossed
with Aramaic script.
The rest of my gospel, she said
lies underneath, rolled in a wine jar.
I ‘m waiting for a scholar
to translate the text. He will come here
to buy a packet of tobacco
and mint tea.
She paused, swept back
a rippling current of hair
then, I’ll ask you to exhume
a creed that splendors women, that doesn’t strap
their tongues to silence or deny their bones
a fine box for burial.
The man slowly nodded
and opened his shutters
inhaling the early dust and sea.