I cannot help my gaze
and did not choose this.
I was a flurry of atoms.
I was a disassembled spark.
I desired impression.
I desired progeny.
Then the Lord said unto me:
Suppose a daughter.
Does it please you?
But I was not myself a daughter,
could be no mother of one or three.
So I was given all daughters.
All blooms, all fruits.
At first, I was a lamp
craned above a clovered garden.
The roots, they suckled the dirt,
and lashed it, and crawled for eons.
Then they were standing upright
all over the earth.
My gaze horizoned.
My origination fogged.
My eyes searched forever,
my gaze compassing.
I asked God to turn me a way,
give me eyelids, give me veil.
Give me some cover, like every other.
God, please. Please ease me, God
until God grew weary of my weary
and fixed for me an axis.
God said: Wait. Repeated: Wait.
I gave you daughters on daughters.
Are you not pleased?
I do not know pleasure.
I know not what I become.
God said: Your touch
Now you know Me.
No fathom between us.
All men turn their faces to you,
but verily, they turn a way.
They tarry home.
We ran barefoot on pavement
before a girl tripped on a rock,
got third and fourth lips,
a new hairline.
We jumped from swings, aiming
for grass beyond the gravel path.
We flipped over the frame to float,
weightless girls who didn’t matter.
There’s a scar in the shape of Africa
on my right knee, a faceless dime
on my wrist. I expect flight,
but brace to land on my back.
How I could’ve loved you with that body,
heart that instructs a girl to climb fences
taller than her house, or fight a bully
who already shaves her knees.
What chords a pulse plucks. It plays
in thumbs pressed together. Some night
I’d like to leap from the headboard,
double up, wonder at the blood in our grins.