Creation of the World


You know it from the way your own heart moves
when the heavens open: that first morning, too, it was raining
as the souls collected themselves-

they wanted things they didn’t know a word for,
to be deciduous, or matronly, or ectoskeletal.

They had their reasons,
coming as they did out of the sameness
and freedom of the air: constant promise of renewal,
desire to deliver, dislike of fur. They flew into a frenzy
as the better lives were taken.

All of them were eager for a body
and for a wide variety of names: crown vetch,
axseed, coronilla varia. Such pretty pink and white!

Imagine how it looked
coming alive, swelling with intention,
the joyous and the bitter souls
suddenly constrained-

weighing anything at all’s so different from the spirit form,
so limited: all roots, all lungs….
Ivy climbing walls, gulls trapped inside the ozone,
even cheetahs running hard are finally spent.
What they found was what they’d given up.
Now: the flesh, the rain, the nature of regret.


- Sally Ball, Annus Mirabilis