The Golem and the Girl

Born or remade
out of fertile clay
of the coastal lowlands,
out of stagnant clay,
in squelchy corridors.

Shadows shudder and reshape
in the girl’s doorway—a clay figure
fired up, made hard
by rage.

Gaping holes for eyes,
filled to the brim with liquor,
seeping through the shell,
stains showing on the outside.

She grasps for the swooping beam,
the lighthouse that guards her shore.
But the light fails.

Fury pours
out of a vessel
into a vessel,
grinds,
until hairline cracks
soil her mortar.

Another shore, across the strait,
her only escape,
where bygone lanterns
light rocky corridors,
where she becomes
Mary or Rebecca.