The verse, ‘Today, the world is born,’ inspires an “exquisite corpse,” or collaborative poem
After the water, the surge.
After the surge, the pain.
When they came, I rocked, elbows
firm on the kitchen counter,
each one a revelation, my life
contracted, splintered to make way
for what was to come. Something
has to rip for the world to start anew.
In every birth, a shattering
the way the egg in Hannah’s body
shattered when she prayed for God
to open her womb, her ovum pierced
and shivering with creation, Samuel’s name
(still known only to God), inscribed
in the Book of Life, a secret name.
Through the shofar, breath wails.
Oh Avinu Malkeinu, unveil yourself.
Tell us how you held and bore the world,
how from the womb of darkness
and silence you fashioned light and sound,
the tides you sent rising and pulling,
and this lavender dusk, rung and swung
through with the wing-beats of swallows.
swallowing wings and through the sauce
of it all, fingers stretch beyond any plate’s expanse;
happy birthday, world, and what a party: everything
as I’ve tried to forget it, food as love’s only child
and people talking over each other’s heads,
but using knives: yes, we are civilized unlike
those others — Pushkin was not wasted on us.
Happy birthday, brainfuck! It’s your party,
you can do anything that resembles
being; you can blow out the candles without counting
as it is written: “Whoever counts Israel, transgresses…”
If we’re candles you blow out like stars
what is the cake — made of? and isn’t it always about
to implode, poem-like
as if somebody ate
it out from the inside, while we were here giving birth
to you — what a joy, what a long shot.
what’s visible is our want
to create & create & find
some hint of red balloon
llama mascot or any sign
that our redesign is one
of water of ellipses of
such & such & seed our
bodies accurate what need
conjugates idle to canopy
sing of bobcat crossings skylight
stories vessels crack open
we see this light.