In the end, everything matters,
even rain on the hills, though it won’t
save a splintered boat from sundering
or release the shark in the net.
Bathing my sick child in milk couldn’t
calm her fever. Nailing myself to a tree
didn’t bring God any closer,
but when I looked a serpent in the eyes
I felt a common salvation.
The day after I buried my daughter
I heard knocking and opened a drawer
to find a dozen eggs, one of them rocking.
I held it in my mouth to make two snakes
break from the shell and lick my neck. The god
hanging on the wall commanded, Watch me suffer.
I dreamt my daughter dove
for whale bones on the abyssal plains,
surfaced from the sea floor bearing
spines, ribs, colossal skulls.
They grinned at me from the waves,
gods of a different history.
Vol. 32, No. 2 (2011)