II. Amma Sarah Rebukes the Philosophers from 'Saints' Tales: Dialogues in Solitude' The desert offers no escape from desire, but its precise location. In emptiness, there are no substitutes and no satisfaction. In emptiness the hidden mouth of desire yawns and gulps, famished, desperate; the very source - and the threshold. From time to time I discover that wind and sand have stirred around me in undulant waves, obscuring the mouth. Then I must dig with my hands through this glittering cloud, pull the single strand I have laid down to mark the place through an infinite multitude of points and strokes, the mirage of alphabets, scattering my eyes and my heart, that would sift me and fling me like itself, here and there, with which perhaps I could for several decades be satisfied and deluded - before knowing. Even a grain of sand, you Wise Men, is a substitute and a brief satisfaction which stands in the empty space that I must mark with my line and dig to uncover, where uncovered, naked, and complete, I enter my cell and lift my eyes.
Cynthia Sowers was a Senior Lecturer at the Residential College of the University of Michigan until retirement in 2019. Five of her poems were published in the inaugural issue of the Solum Journal (Fall 2020). https://cynthiasowers.rc.lsa.umich.edu/