Poetry / September 2012 (Issue 18)

Creation Stories

by Michelle Esquivias

And from it rose
When we speak of rivers, we speak of the unfortunate. Cupping of water, sitting on the onrush, the cut, then the threadlike rouge romancing. The birthing so goes: flesh, rock, sting. If one whispers this sequence to the wind, one will recall a princess locked up in a gold-plated palace. Somewhere, her lover is trudging through thorn and rapid.
The cracking open sounds just like how it moves on the tongue. The question was whether or not we dared to ask about the hiss of the release, if it was enough. But we were baking rice in halved bamboo. We imagined snow. We pressed our noses to the soft grain and appreciated it by taking a step backwards. Then, the smell of slow-burnt grain.
The rain came and it pelted, dirt gnashed against skin after the fall. The bruises came moments after, burnt bark in the storm. The soft crushing of harried steps against grass, the paling of flesh inside. A body scooped up from the eye of the storm, the rotting mulch carved out in disgust.
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