ellie epp



sat on a grass bank, shaggy head, a monumental woman, not young, with a hole in her head             the brown mouth on her temple speaking when she lowers her eyes

it was there when she was born, and her head grew middle-aged around it          it came quietly throughout her childhood          it was created by surgery: punched out

trepan, n. from trype, a hole
trepan, n. from trappe, a snare, a cheat, a deceiver

she looked into me, not directly not as down a well or with a flashlight into a closet, she looked with an inner periscoping from her own well-known dark into my dark, and what she saw was an evasion, somewhere else, not always, but a trapdoor always ready, a dread          the lies and solitude of childhood          love not trusting itself          a leak or flood


priesthole: where priests hide when soldiers search     the habit of ducking out just when the most exciting things are going to happen


the house of short journeys and learning
the house of long journeys and marriages


the woman with the hole in her head she lets herself out through it on a fine line shaking up loose and nice like a parachute out of a diver, cord like a vapour trail,        bridges herself, angles, levers    herself    into an existence,  adjacent


oh help me she cried across the table to her friends i'm feeling religious


the woman with the hole in her head she dies when she leaves           through her eyes you can see a sleeplit twilight as in a house whose inhabitants have left a candle at the icon


what surrounds the hole is body, brown, thick, fleshy        food breaking and rotting        veins swollen on the backs of the hands        woman's condition and the mother, folded inside and pushing outward, loathed        a coma of avidity, a sucky baby        watery flesh full of them the heavy worms of gravity        death, but the old can be dry and light, body shrunk to fit


the woman with the hole in her head she pulls the curtains a little and looks out the porthole     there is a sea shaking quietly


behind her the interior geography of a saltmine, timbers and ladders, warm pools, internal flanks glistening with water, a nocturnal people on their heels around an ember    black kettle steaming just visible (red) steam


confession is when you tell what you have withheld
advanced confession is faster