the Return of God
day He invented the universe, God gathered
His museum of stones in a mason jar
and cast it to the cold star of oblivion.
When the boy
would come home from school, nose bloodied
from yet another fist swung up from out of nowhere,
he’d borrow that jar from the cupboard, swipe
the riverstones and half-split geode that lined
his mother’s vanity, clack his
sister’s string of pearls
along the edge of her jewelry box, unstring
the many-colored opal of the birthstone from around his neck.
In the backyard, he’d uncork the jar and sweep
those gems wide around him. Geode
Riverstones, nine planets. Opal: moon. Those pearls
of galaxies holding hands in tight circle around it all.
he’d wait. First for the stones to shudder,
then levitate. To form a whirling vortex
in the air and slowly corkscrew back into the jar
with a sound like wind through
He’d wait for the jar’s lid to screw itself
Then Pop. Seal. He’d hold the jar in his hands
shake it like a rattle, listen to the hollow clatter of stars,
and everything else he couldn’t comprehend
clinking like punched-out molars
rows of teeth.
For a long time he waited for the return of God.
For a long time, the wind stayed very, very still.