Authors and Poets
Authors and Poets

Photos used with permission from the Academy of American Poets

Last updated:
April 19, 2018
Lori M. Cameron, editor

The Bowl Below – Kake Huck

Fall 2002, vol. 6, no. 2

She carries in a bowl of her sin.

Wait. I can’t—

She carries a bowl of sin.

Wait. That’s not right.

Try describing the bowl.

The bowl is blue Roman glass.
Near the lip a bubble—
brown or gold—
a blister of faith—
small broken glints
catch light
sparking the oil as she bends
as she kneels
her eyes aligned with golden skin.
She draws the robe over …

No. Wait. Not yet.

She bends, kneels on
cold stone, bowl between
hands, pain in her side—
holding Egyptian cotton she—

No. This is a mistake.

holding her hair,
she lets the bowl shiver—
a rippling miniature sea
below her clouding eyes and
there, just there
a world in that moment—
smelling sweat, oil, myrrh, she
touches, touches . . .

Wait. How can I say this?

Just tell us what she senses.

Hair slick with oil,
she traces long bones
in his feet, feeling
through strands of what is her own
feeling through what is her own
His flesh now moist
from the bowl of her sin.

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