by Isabel Acevedo

You need the night and a light,
God knows, the stars to
fill you with faith that is
like despair. There, a
rock for beating. Here,
a flower to remember soft-

new grass soft, lion fur soft.
You must define light,
and name yourself, too
for the order of things. There is so
much to know- plant, rock,
animal - until there isn't. Now, here,

in the garden, yon are alone. Hear
the antelope groan for a mate, soft
and low in the falling light.
You need someone, too.
But first you must trust what God is:
stubborn as a rock.

God who turns water to rock,
He will meet you here
in the garden. He will tread soft
as a panther, and wear only light,
and when He comes to
you, fall on your knees, exclaim, He is!

And this is
what He will do: turn over a rock
and gather the dirt, make an incision, here,
under your heart, soft
skin grinning, the
light off-white bone
grip and snap in two.
Dirt, bone, breath, and then, there is
a stomach smooth as a river rock.
There, a hand for touch. Here,
a mouth to tempt. Hair soft
as the wolf you named when light

was newly known. Here, there is yet rock without violence,
light still of God, but to love her, you must give up soft,
give up bone, and never again will you be clean.

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