Who told you you were naked?
No one told you.
In a single strange moment,
the colored moving world welled up
into the colored moving world
trees and clouds
stones and water
the chatter and songs
and behemoth curiously lifts his head
and you are
and you’re here
and it’s now.
Your eyes turn to the other eyes
and they’re shining too.
It’s both of you, now, here, together,
trembling with this greatness.
In the heat of the day, a little wind runs through.
Only the leaves shiver
and the two of you.
Your eyes meet and
you both laugh again.
It’s so much- all at once.
Who told you?
The voice is colder.
The words you would have to invent to say
sink back down your throat
falling back into the heart they almost came from.
The leaves you wove tear and fall and
you have to stand there-
this is naked-
both of you naked
and him waiting.
From deep in the darkening sky
a little wind runs around you all.
It’s cold- so cold.
To be this way.
Whatever you want.
Oh, God, please. Whatever you say.
I’ll do it. I’ll be good. I promise. Please.
Do you delight in our weakness, Father?
Does it make you perfect?
Is it what draws your attention
Down, out of the vast and infinite
sorrow where your heart lives-
clouded like a newborn star?
Does it assuage you, for a moment,
to trip us with nothing and trigger
muddy knees and hands?
Hiding in the trees.
Where are you?
calls out One who already knows everything.
Your breath slows, chokes in your throat.
Where are you?
He’s enjoying the game.
Enjoying the heartbeat He must know
is knocking against your ribs-
as your terror convulses into purity-
as He comes near.
But then He veers off.
Perfect fear can cast out everything
whether its piss or hope that holds you back. And
your newly clean mind understands.
He’ll keep coming closer
At last He’ll let himself find you and stare down, gloating,
as you crescendo
and then He’ll begin.
As if the sky were made of giants
through the deep blue sea-
Your limbs move-
soft as ropes of clay-
and you stumble out ot the brambles .
The game is over
and He hasn’t won.
The Father had died.
The Mother was waxing.
The moon had come
The bones moved over the ocean,
the wake rising ’round them,
the wake moving over the waters,
following the Father’s house.
The Father had died.
The Mother was moving,
gathering against her children,
the snake may be longer than the rabbit
but the turtle is longer than the snake
it lasts and lasts
The Serpent, with its teeth sunk in its tail,
is longer than them all.
The turtle has lived a long time.
His steps are slow.
It’s taken him this long to get here.
The rabbit is fast.
The turtle won the race by default,
hundreds of years ago.
The tide of time
except for all the shells.
The water rises in its own language.
It takes the words out of your mouth.
It will take the bones out of your body’s closet
and scatter them among the pebbles.
The spent ocean dries off
the land’s edges.
The spent earth fills the ocean’s jars.
The ocean will still be your tired king
when all the mothering waters have gone.
You, like a gull, rise.
You, like a stone, dive.
You, like the sun, descend
Again and again and again.
The sea in your head
The sea in your bones
is looking across the ocean.
The language waits-
the language of water.
What we were not told
we have heard.
When the walls dream
and the reeds speak in silence
of water. Rising.
The wise man wept at it
and the daemon-heroes
came and stood
on the bank of the river
up from the sea.
The wise man learned it in a dream.
So he will sprinkle many nations.
The name God gave you
was the name they told you
when you were born.
But it never fit.
Year after year swept past you-
bringing rain and leaving
rust and cracks in the pavement.
They grew- like frost or wild fires- in petals.
The fibers of the name shrank
under waves of fog and sun.
Or perhaps you grew.
But as the lacy flowers
bloomed and crumbled
the yarn pulled tighter
clawing your arms
when you tried to breathe.
Air was too much to ask
who bid you be still and quiet, cursing,
As he ate his own stolen soul-
As the wind walked on the waves-
As the bread and fishes multiplied themselves-
lost in the murmur and swell of all names
rolling through their mouths
the powers rejoiced in an unknown name.
Unknowing , a heart pronounced the word.