All Things Ensouled and Soulless

                    A nein of lives, holier when number
than the unkindness of ravenous eyes
biting deep into them, nine prisoners
wishing themselves out of there, what’s left of
ferocity’s revolutionary
daughters, constellations who refused to
air, but b(r)anded together down here, I
show them mercy, each girl her silence sings
of sin, I show them mercy, and each one
of them, a convict, winks at some unseen

                    god surveying the room, all things ensouled
and soulless, so much for belief and grace
that saves, we are damned, if not damaged or
so irrevocably as them, and I
sketch the prisoners, and I touch pen to
pad, tip to sheet, as I pull hard from my
mind a portrait of each, eating apples,
in the poisoned light of prison, and I
know that in the great scheme of creation
the divine spark’s fluorescent hum can

                    still be heard, it’s what fills rooms and bodies
anticipation has already burned
so reader be warned, the nine women, these
voiceless Muses, amuse themselves with your
glimpse, and devour those whose skin emits life’s
force, for these women are not, but are ghosts
and in October, they emerge first in
every orchard, swallowing blossoms
petal-by-petal, that is, until they
remember they are flowers already