Some stories write themselves. Like this one.
There were no days, hours, minutes, or seconds
to count, to draw lines across this globe’s face with,
to make motorized machinery with strange faces and no mouths
to tell you how fast to go,
or how much of the day you’ve left to spend
like tired-eyed laborers with a pocket full of gold
and a gaping throat hungering for liquor. No years to
number your graying hairs with,
no decades to watch and count your children –
the ones that survived,
growing up like corn stalks until they gave forth their own fruit
and their ears blacked out the sun. No centuries
to plot your boundaries by, to tell the stories of how
they expanded and contracted,
lower heads and eyes with a sorrow’s weight around your necks
as you consider the bloodstains blotting their wins and losses.
No millennia to watch you shift earth, to drink lakes dry,
to watch new ones dig themselves into Earth’s face,
and to sail across a fresh amniotic fluid ocean to
find another home. And speaking of oceans and lakes,
there were none. No boundaries. No shifted earth.
No crops, no trees, nothing four-footed or two-winged emptying breath
into the air. And no air, either.
And certainly no you.
No, it began with just his fingertips
trailing a gentle beckon on the back of my shoulder: it is
time. And without words, the whole thing began to coil up
inside our loins, its blueprints drawing themselves
inside the red velvet temples within each of our chests softly
beating, beating, beating. There was only this, and
a bed, ready for us, ready for our bodies. It needed us
to knit it together, in the space between:
belly meets belly, skin meets skin.
Legs separate, and the gates open to the garden
as a prelude to the dance where proto-stars
swirl, explode, collide, and then swirl again. You humans cannot
possibly interpret this: you would bruise and break your bodies
like so much altar bread if you even tried.
A caress, a kiss, a nibble:
and the orchestra grows and swells into frenzy
its musicians try to knit another heaven inside me by
sending notes up to the ceiling to swirl, explode, collide, and then swirl again
like the dancing stars below them.
It needed us to give it the space for the music,
in the space between,
in the veiled sanctuary inside me. You wonder
where Moses got his Holy of Holies from? It is a translation
of where my love’s seed entered
and the stars swirled, exploded, collided, and then swirled again;
and the notes swirled, exploded, collided, and then swirled again;
and the life inside me began to bulge, throb, and glow. And now
it starts to erupt in a neat parade,
in the space between,
an exit without pain slowly leaking out of me. It begins
to slide past my love’s belly, and he dismounts quickly
to get out of its way, landing softly beside me. With his
two arms encircling me, we watch the whole thing happen:
stars, sky, sun, and moon;
planets, comets, and clouds;
land, sea, and air;
tree, fern, and fruit;
crops like straight rows of blond and green soldiers;
the four-legged, the six-legged, the eight-legged, and the hundred-legged;
the winged and the finned,
the furred and the scaled;
and finally, the two-legged, you. All slowly
flow out of me, still swirling in their own little coruscating dances,
no longer exploding or colliding
but gentle moving into and laying themselves
in place. As I said, this birth is painless,
and gravid with joy: and bathed in our own sweat
and the stardust from their first exits out of my body, we
watch it happen, soundless. The void filling,
the black erasing itself,
the whole universe emerging from one act of love.
© 2011 Nicole Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.