683 Readings

How the World Was Made

In the ballroom light, the filigree of our hand bones
entwined.  And I saw the anatomy of your hand. 
I saw the anatomy of the book behind your face. 
Anatomy of the sleeping eye, of the bleeding
star at the edge of implosion, of the mouth as it prays
against another mouth. Of the mouth remade
into the smallest island of finches. Anatomy of the sea
before the land fractured it. Anatomy
of the ancient ferns, the reptilian eye of the dark form
hovering between them. Anatomy of adagio,
of aria & the voice.  Anatomy of the prayer between
mouths, of the space between words
in the book laid under the tongue. Anatomy of histories,
of each other universe entwining with this one—
a diagram of light & dark matter stretched
across the surface.  Everything was veined.  Everything
was given shape & bones & muscles to fill it. 
Everything became mortal but I could hold it. 
I could hold it, & it held me.  I heard each thing stir awake. 
I knew my faith made it so. And I knew the answer. 
Take this mouth, these hands. This throat, its slender
tangle. It’s all here. Take it all. Then breathe into it. 
Posted 08/21/11
Previously published in Best New Poets 2009, edited by Kim Addonizio.
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