11.27.2010

God Desires, but Cannot Yearn


Each single soul for a thousand thousand years
Has longed for something.
Six billion tiny vials of desire
That yearn and grasp
At something, something, something.

A thousand thousand years ago,
When first a creature
Something like a man,
Stood up and stared across a lake, alone.
We yearn to remember what he had,
To reclaim the secret germ
Of what-we-cannot-name.
The fruit of a tree in a garden
We wish we could vomit back up --
The burning flame of sword set
Tight in an angel's fist --
The flutter of a fig-leave
Across a lover's thighs --

------------------------

"A thousand thousand years ago," we cry,
"You, man who stood and looked across a lake, alone.
Who first could hear the echo in himself
When a gull cried out,
What did you know that we forgot?""

He does not answer.

But, I will tell you.
I will tell you what his secret was --
For I dreamed him up,
I wrapped my legs around him as I slept,
And murmured in his ear.

He murmured back, the primeval rolling gurgle
Of a voice choked in the dust his cattle stamped into the air,
A voice soaked deep with the sweat of his brow,
Soaked in the blood of the sacrifice,
Soaked in the moans of a woman giving birth.

And I will tell you what he said.

-----------------------

He woke the first time, long ago,
Before the serpent or the fruit,
Before the lake or gull or cooking fire.

He woke in a garden laid rich with all
The things God left nameless.
God asked him to go out and name these things --
But he would name nothing, but the little stream.
He looked at it, and ached,
And named it "I-have-longed."

It was then god thought to lay him to sleep,
To shiver out his rib,
To draw it long and flesh and bone.
And then to slip away while still his little playthings slept.

He woke, he told me, and saw her,
Sitting close,
A moan trapped in her throat,
Her eyes trained on the stream.

She turned and looked into his eyes,
And murmured soft as the young and tender sun,
"Come brother, come.
Come yearn with me -- I do not know what for."

And they sat together by the banks of "I-have-longed",
And yearned for something,
Something they could not name,
From a thousand thousand years before they came.

(Image by Madamepsychosis)

3 comments:

Chris said...

Your poetry....it..I...yeah...It's just so amazing, Jason. I loved this.

Trapunto said...

The romantic tone suits the subject matter.

I am almost getting a suggestion that the naming is more of a Fall than "eating of the tree"?

Jason Gignac said...

Mr Chris - Thank you :)
Ms Trapunto - I've always been fascinated/horrified by the whole naming aspect of the Adam/Eve story. This came up for me when I read Fire and Hemlock recently, as well, which I should probably write about some time...