Something Distinctly Human

I began making stories of a God
             so that I might not feel lonely
sitting in His lap

He spoon-fed me
             His Genesis
rocking He whispered

I was created in His image
             I had dominion over every
creeping thing

I had seen the spill
             from waterbeds of arthropods
to a clumsy shuffle of a scaly beast

on a sulfuric beach I had seen
             wings grow and later
feathers and fur

claws later hooves stamping
             rather stoking a ground
reduced their number of legs

and grew hair for feathers
             traded vocal chords repeating
our errors in words

hum glottal hums
             together as night set
my many names began

a Virgin Mary  Jesus   St. George
             measured in three parts
wet clay I was spooned together

a lonely morula first
             eye ear vestigial tracts
opened to the smell

of dusty myrrh a crusade
             marching silently for me in the north
tomorrow da Vinci an idea

of being human
             I explored the drawings
of genitals carefully observing

rivers I mechanized
             a hydraulic pump
to syphon upward the word

human a tangible piece of river scum
             the cell the mass the lichen the breath
or a Darwin

I measured tortoises
             in centimeters finches sang
in different tunes as night set

in scrub brush or on ground
             yet to be specified
I scribbled a memoir

in DNA metaphorically
             structured as a human
mosaic group of tourists

snapping polaroid pictures
             at Basilica Santa Maria’s
Creation of the World

in 1971 shaking air
             setting color to light
keepsakes from a trip

that common memoir
             substituted I for we and
somewhere in the text

a story I began with a God
             ended with the fact of us
all the dying stars lonely

send their million-year-old
             light that ends at the fact
of topsoil chlorophyll

setting color to light
             the sugar the exercise the breath
the vibrancy the apparentness the facts

that I am alone but I am
             a finch’s song synonymous
with gospel drawings of a pump

explained as a fact of centrifugal
             force this mass of cells
through renaissance and science

one unified microscopic breath
             hoping for something divine
explained as distinctly human

Read on . . .

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