“God is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.”
The peony, which was not open this morning, has opened,
falling over its edges
like the circumference of God, still clasped
at the center:
my two-month-old daughter’s hand
in Palmer reflex, having endured
from the apes: ontogeny
recapitulating phylogeny, clutching for fur.
Her face is always tilted up when I carry her,
her eyes, always blue.
She is asking nothing of the sky, nothing
of the pileated woodpeckers,
their directionless wings, directed bodies,
the unmoved moving.
song of the wood thrush,
twin voice boxes poised, smell of the creek
and the locust flowers, white as wafers
on the branches, communion: pistil, stamen, bee.
She doesn’t say
When we eat,
what we eat is the body
of the world.
Also when we do not eat.
She is asking the sky for milk.
Take and eat, we tell her,
this is my body
which is given for you, child,
who are here now,
though you were not,
though you will be old
then absent again: sad
to us going forward in time
but not back. Not sad to you at all.
The peony whose circumference
is nowhere, you, whose head
now is weighted to my chest,
the creek stringing lights
along next to us,
the peony which has opened.