by Kien Lam

In the beginning
there was me—
small creature
floating in a wet
universe. Then light
and sound and God
was there, but he looked
like my father,
like he’d been smoking
since he was a kid,
his breath the eighth 
day of creation,
which was the first time
he wondered
what it meant to love 
a man, what 
it meant to open 
his heart
to the Lord.
This is how
a universe begins:
some bloody animal
inches out of a womb
gasping for breath.
Some deity’s brain
spills ink all over
a clean sheet of paper.
All of life compresses
into a single molecule,
the dotted i, everything
in the present
tense until an explosion
that never stops
fractures matter
into galaxies,
planetary systems
set to embrace life.
It's a miracle
when I look back
that far and know my father
would some day sit
on our back porch
in his denim jacket
and press smoke
through the screen
door like he wanted
to make a new system
for breathing.
If it's true,
the old scriptures,
that man was made
in the image of God,
then God might be gay
and grayed with four kids
set against an infinite
backdrop of space
and love and smoke.