R. Erica Doyle

from proxy

i. penitent


The entries are usually in black.  This entry is painted in blue.  Paint head.  Everyone trying on a new voice for size. In separate accounts, a corridor.  Dust and rank, humid echo.  Your footsteps carry here.  You weave among stone columns, erected to an open sky.  Walls nonetheless.  Across the plaza, Thoth. Ausar. Auset.  Horus. Thoth’s plume extends from a point perpendicular to his navel.  If you dared, you’d touch it.  You cannot read his face.  My cartouche is open, you tell him.  His dull eyes regard eternity with a desert hound’s acuity.  My heart is a pendant, you tell him.  Beneath your feet, lost alabaster gleams.


You are wandering the corridors of Never and If Only.  The doors are painted on the walls, a pantheon of trompe l’oeil.  You draw you hand along cool plaster.  Light emanates form the stones on the floor.  Nut passes the sun through her anus.  Nothing opens here.


ii. purdah


 In the white house there is a terrace on top of the garage.  The shutters are red, baleful eyes.  You tell time by the muezzin.  At the end of the journey there’s some kind of danger.  You cover your hair and walk to the beach.  Old women grip the ends of their safsaris in their teeth.   After two greasy pastries, you watch the boys tear their shirts off and race into the Mediterranean.  As if in a thousand broken thermometers.  Pretty brown boys and mercury.  They will not die from it.  The same reassurances.  This may just pinch a little bit.  You going to feel some stinging.  Now this might burn for a second.  This might hurt but it won’t kill you.  Dogs and pine trees.  Pebble after pebble.


iii. pommerac


Darting flies leave red blotches the size of a quarter.  A man sleeps wrapped inside a palm frond on the side of a dusty road.  Cows bawl all night long for their masters.  The birds wake you with their cries.  Even the sea heaves with sighs.  All is calling.  Will you leave this dengue plateau?  The hills of Laventille wither beneath a moon that beats back the darkness of the plain.  Shadows call her name to a lightening sky. Forebearance forgets. Blank sheets of rain bruise bougainvillea. Against hope and the force of the sea you weave her face in the sand, the mask memory leaves you.