Psalterium is the book of meat,
And Psalter is the word made flesh:
Twin oracles, consanguine and discrete,
Who serve the delvers into bowels and text
As augurs from the abattoir and crèche.
Just weigh the mantic power of entrails
That drew the haruspices and the sibyl
Who raised in their revelatory vigil
Swollen chalices and gaunt grails.
Those membranous pleats, once mucoid, glaucous, cystic,
Have dried to pages, gone to grace from gristle,
Velum to vellum, vesicle to vessel,
Body and embodiment of the mystic
When death’s corruption’s gathered into missal.
One divine and one human
Organ of accumulation and acumen
Fuse in the ritual of divination:
Psalterium of hymen and rumen,
And Psalter of hymn and oblation.