Warmth and moisture for those walking,
Through the cold and dry stillness.
Listen though, hard,
To cadaverous tête-à-tête.
No tongues to wag,
Yet in the chambers and cambers to be had,
Be sure of cranium conversations.
Cavernous caves created,
By femurs skipped and crisscrossed,
Skulls stacked to rest on one another in peace.
Immortalization of calcium and collagen,
Or merely grottos to genuflect respect,
Of those no longer able.
A saintly Saint; string her up and let her spin,
And a Whizz bang pop not.
Flesh and charcoal denied,
Wheels to shatter at her touch.
Coptic, gnostic, Oh Alexandria!
Your holiness one to contemplate,
Milk flows and fireworks.
Catherine and her sewers,
Yet she isn’t down there, in Hugo’s conscience of the city,
Though others abide in such underground ossuaries.
Roberspierre, Roberspierre, where for art thou rosaries?
Lost in La Fontaine of anti-youth.
And what of Rome and subterranean saints?
Stephen in Commodilla, Callixtus in San Callisto.
Contained in embalmment and entombment,
Deny no tears and deteriorate,
Now really de-compose yourself!
Preservation most precious to those remaining,
But to decay into clay and minerals,
Is to feed the soil and those that slither,
Worms slip through eye sockets and into maturity.
Mausoleum for the beautiful doomed,
Or sepulcher, even cenotaph,
Mocked by the unmarked catatonics in catacombs and crypts.
Charnel house to house unsaved souls,
Far from the saved coffined in safe cemeteries.
So many semantic spaces to hold the dead,
Cryptic messages for the gravely serious.
We must not forget her,
They made a cult for her,
Hail Catherine and her left hand of heat.
Vestal intercessor of divine interlocution,
Whose wheel lives on to spin,
Spirals of virginal potassium and powder potent,
Aesthetic pyrotechnics; a prayer to the martyr.
Forsaken souls shake the living,
Invitations to tunnel into the cracks.
Coaxing claws crumble at the warmth,
Tarsals kick and scramble back to the dark.
None such be blessed,
My sunken seraphim and covet cherubim,
In the maze below with Catherine and me.