La portail (de la Vierge) IV

No one among us believed in a Father alone for protection or salvation, certainly not a son. We knew our sons too well. We had watched them hurry off to war for adventure. We watched another generation follow Heraclius of Caeserea from the skeleton of the new cathedral in the first promise of 1185 into the maw of a third Crusade.

We knew and understood the secret that would elude archbishhops, bishops and priests for centuries:

Notre Dame de Paris is a woman.

She does not hesitate upon her back, her knees towers, arms open to each side, each palm a chapel. She awaits the seed of heaven; we kneel and rise within, stained and cleansed by light shining through each roseate window stretched across a mother’s ribs. Each cathedral is woman and forest, often constructed over a sacred grove and spring. And from the flickering heart above the altar to the floral intricacies of the door of her womb, the faithful emerge, each born back into the great, deep world.

I have crouched in a savory cathedral like this before waiting
to be born, sipping and sleeping to the thumping
of a big bell beneath the bold
cupolas of a mother’s breasts, absorbing pink stories
from windows of flesh stretched
between ribs, worming
toward a slit at the nape of the twin towers
of her knees.

La portail (de la Vierge) [#29]
© 2009 Fammerée

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Richard Fammerée

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Photograph by Susan Aurinko

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