storytelling was god’s first gift
a way to embalm our histories,
to dress them up
just as a mortician might paint
to give the illusion of life—
the mirage of
immortality on our own terms.
and so we become this patchwork of stories,
tales sewn into
the very fabric of human existence like
some great cosmic
game of telephone stretching across
of **** sapiens who lived and loved
under the same
canopy of distant, blazing stars.
but like the stars, we too die; we
ourselves, upon the weight of
our genetic code
spooled out and stretched like thread
until there is
nothing left to give—no more DNA
to copy, just an
empty tomb, the stone rolled away.
if only death were a simple thing,
like how our brains
can go on autopilot on our commute to work.
i’d love for us to
be able to hand money to the bus driver
and say, smiling,
“all that is mine i carry with me,”
and board the
bus heading to Somewhere empty-handed.
in this fear of a Somewhere, we’ve
gift into a weapon, sharpened
sticks into spears, melted our
double-edged swords, named
one side faith
and the other side belief.
we cut down those whose beliefs
from ours without exception, as if billions
of years ago
we weren’t all carbon and hydrogen atoms
together, spinning slowly in the dark expanse of
a frigid universe,
the very foundation of the celestial blueprint.
as if millions of years ago we weren’t
huddled by a fire while the fifth Ice Age
outside, making glaciers out of mountains.
we sat together
and swapped stories, painting our lives on
using sticks and crushed beetle shells.
in this century, we collect new converts like
on a chessboard, as if belief is a battlefield and
the price of
doubt is a one-way bus pass to a Somewhere
like brimstone, milk, and honey licked clean
from a lion’s
ribcage: a hint of ash mixed with sweetness.
because all evil carries a hint of god,
he made figs and floods, broom trees
trumpets and leprosy, blessings and
curses. at night we
fear that no amount of weeping or
will make the scales fall from our eyes.
so humans, in our finite wisdom
say, “all that is mine i carry with me,”
to Yeshua, the deliverer, to Adonai, the
rest on the seventh day of our rebirth
so we can
wake at dawn and see that it was good.
some days we can be like Jonah in the
belly of a fish,
wise Solomon on his golden throne lined
with idols, Job
who cursed the day of his birth with every
whose bitterness begot the still-born name Mara,
so long as we
remember to carry that which belongs only to us: