This Body She’s Entered

this body

This Body She’s Entered documents, lyrically, the powerful metaphysical struggle leading up to the author’s decision to leave the religious order, marry and raise a family. It is at once an affirmation of intense spirituality and womanliness.

Mary Kay Rummel’s writing is mature, lyrical and intense.

— Linda Gregg, In the Middle Distance


From This Body She’s Entered:

This Is Our Inheritance

All over Europe
on last judgment portals
of medieval cathedrals,
lust with its grinning belly and ass’s head
carries nude women off to damnation,
faceless women slung over his shoulder
their hair hanging long.

On the left side of the main portal
of Chartres Cathedral
place of the lost, the damned
one woman walks, is not carried,
is not faceless, a nun,
all but her face covered.

And she smiles as she walks
a message to generations of us
necksore women.

“It was worth it,” she says,
“Like nothing that ever happened before.”

“I love to look at you,” he said,
“to talk while I am loving you.”

“I had closed my body for a long cold season.
In one brief transit I opened for him.”

“You smell so good to me,” he said.
“I love to taste you.”

“He loved my body.
With him my body was my soul.
He imprinted it.”

“I love to listen
To your small sounds.”

“I wanted to swallow him
in me, one heliacal rising.”

On her knees in the cold mornings
She tried to exorcise him.

In the night when she beat her flesh
His face grew on her thighs.

“In this city of God built by men
Whom should I ask
for forgiveness?
In this book of glass
written by men
in their circular summing up
a yearly spiral opening inward
where do I who have broken out
come back to the same death?
These circles that open into God
close down on a woman who knows
that body and soul are one.”


This Body She’s Entered is available for purchase through the poet.

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