Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What if God

By Sharon Olds

And what if God had been watching when my mother
came into my bed? What would He have done when her
long adult body rolled on me like a
tongue of lava from the top of the mountain and the
tears jumped from her ducts like hot rocks and my
bed shook with the tremors of the magma and the
deep cracking of my nature across--
what was He? Was He a bison to lower his
thundercloud head and suck His own sex while He
watched us weep and pray to Him or
was He a squirrel, reaching down through the
hole she broke in my shell, squirrel with His
arm in the yolk of my soul up to the elbow,
stirring, stirring the gold? Or was He a
kid in Biology, dissecting me while she
held my split carapace apart so He could
firk out my oblong eggs one by one, was He a
man entering me up to the hilt while she
pried my thighs wide in the starry dark--
she said that all we did was done in His sight so
what was He doing as He saw her weep in my
hair and slip my soul from between my
ribs like a tiny hotel soap, did He
wash his hands of me as I washed my
hands of Him? Is there a God in the house?
Is there a God in the house? Then reach down and
take that woman off that child's body,
take that woman by the nape of the neck like a young cat and
lift her up and deliver her over to me.

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