The Call

by Kaylia Dunstan

Woman where are you?
Where are you woman?
You have wrapped yourself in silence
Cast your eyes
From the terror of sadness
Forgotten your belly
It’s now fat with water
That dripped from your lids
Dropped rivers down your neck
Too long ago to mention

This is a story of a woman
who dared herself
to dream
she belonged to the sea

Woman where are you?
Where are you woman?
Persephone’s pilgrimage
Is not your own

Where is your dance of celebration
Your velvet parade through the streets
Your folded skin
Shaking like bells
Where is the fine spin
Of the moment when
The sunlight mellows the face
And the breasts are deep and round

In this story
Inside a house
Inside a night
The woman stared at her daughter
Sleeping in safe blankets
She couldn’t stop staring
Remembering, remembering

Woman where are you?
Where are you woman?
Why do you not anoint yourself with oil
Your beauty is finite fair and forever
Where is the sparkling iris
The cloaked and uncloaked
The urn of light in your belly
The hair casting ribbons over pillows
The body
Sacred in softness
Moving with slow and measured grace

In this story
The woman listened
For the first time
Since adulthood
Turned her to clay
She heard the sea howl

Woman where are you?
Where are you woman?
Where is your dandelion squeal
Your paprika laughter
Of pure delighted fire and earth
I know you remember
Your body lifted into the air
In magic dreams of now

In this story
The woman hears the icy stars
The grandmother wind
Bringing her sea to her
The sea breaks
Over borrowed buildings
Over booming rush

She leaves the daughter
Answers the howl
With a howl of her own
Punctures the air
Flees to the door
Pushes against it
Welcomes
The dark cement path
The passage of night
Walks out and keeps walking
Her hips vibrating
Her hair flying high

Woman where are you?
Where are you woman?
Where is the fire
The groan and the beat
For love that is drunk and spinning
Kali’s cry for death of fear
Blasting heat through old muscles
Is forgotten, is lost in
The black slacks and elastic wraps
The worry about worry about worry
Can you hear the howl
She who would be Athena
Guarding your ancient temple
Of flesh and blood
Your sword, your endless wisdom
Your heaving scent of flame

In this story
The woman fuels her toes
In the sugar sand
Water strokes her legs
Her lover is before her
Complete in capitulation
In triumphant applause
In white-capped tenderness
Moonlight sprays over skin
All shadows broken and solid
She bows her lips to the earth
Soiled with pleasure
Flies into the
Dark beloved spice of the sea
Captured and home

Woman where are you?
Where are you woman?
Where is your crone
Your Cerridwen
Your battered cauldron of secrets
Your stories
Where is the smile that touches all parts
The giver that is given to
Showered with warm rain
Because it is expected
Because it is just
For the curved cheek to be touched
In diamond tenderness
It is your right oh woman, your right

In this story
The woman wakes
From her dream of her lover
To the clapping of her doorbell
In the house
In the sea of houses

In the sea of cement
She flees to the door
Pushes against it
Welcomes with knowing
The blessed passage of night
And is greeted

Woman where are you?
Where are you woman?
Have you forgotten
Smothering yourself in mud
Rolling yourself in leaves
In shells, in seeds, in petals
Casting off all blankets, all frames
To bury yourself in the dirt
Allowing the trees, the stones
The blessed water mother
Deep ocean of comfort
To sing you your song of deliverance

In this story
The woman is greeted by her shadow
Faint in its salience
But desperate in its desperation
Dripping with water


Journal, Volume 2 Issue 12