The face was not apparent, two snips for the airholes placed the nose
and let the first sense of the world be sent pouring into those runnels
to the brain and lighting up the lobes- the scent would be with her always.
The membrane was rolled from the shoulders, a wet-sleek mane, then rested
in a foreheaded diadem, incised and unlooped from the ears, and the remaining
cap from the skull finally lifted, a freed slave freed, the full caul detached.
When the infant is put to the mother’s breast and suckling, the caul is pressed
to paper, planed and soft, smoothed of all veiled features and left to dry.
The sailors would seek it out once long ago, fold it tight to bind their bibles
in liu of a cork coat, and more tightly clutched. But take note, it is to blank paper
the caul was first enscribed, when its power was palmed and written uponthat sheet of white. The paper holds the damp, the scent, the subtle Morpheus print.