Sunday, January 19, 2014

2013, Fourth Quarter, Final Selection

Remembering the Big Bang

Before everything flew apart, separated,
it all happened at once. Spring ice storms
and summer thunderheads. Dead of winter
gray ground and mockingbirds high

in the redwoods telling everyone their song
was wonderful, worth stealing. Time was compact,
pressed tight so that birth and death overlapped
and, at any moment, love happened over and over.

Inside there was no outside. The day
your mother threw your brother down
the backstairs isn't separate
from the afternoon, several years

from now, under a cloudless sky.
The Mediterranean folds you into
her turquoise, malachite embrace, returns
you to the dark, salty womb of beginnings.

Death, impersonal—even a daughter's,
love too, passion
on a starless Sonoran night
as the cicadas buzzed,

sleep a restless, burning dream.
Before the Big Bang, everything,
holy and secular,
a story and a history,

told, over and over and at once,
no words, spoken or sung.
No separation,
no one, no other.

--Rebecca del Rio

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