Wednesday Poem

God or No God
Deer not clacking through snow crust
after apples, crows thankfully asleep,
coyotes whispering to young
not yet ready to test their pipes—
midnight is broken by my sump-pump
disgorging the day’s melt-seep. Yes.
What can I do without?

The first time I rode the ambulance
there was a hole in someone’s head.
Because all matter crumbles, because
chunk and mouth, bone of skull,
because this guy knew where to point.
That my hands did all the right things;
that he died as he meant to; that he made me
wildly alive—all true.

Ten years on, cumin seeds scorching in the pan
are my children, my slipknot, my go-to.
Because I believe myself fragrant
I am spitting me back out.
I renounce dog-eared and dog tired and even
dogged—no, dogged is good.
Because God or no god are both monstrous.
Because wrists don’t age. Because kisses
or memories of kisses. Because
hull and grave equally ravish.

The first time I gave myself an eyelash of a chance
to change, it will be tomorrow, and luckily
I’m watching. Because let the tenses be scrambled.
The world happens momentarily.

by Ellen Doré Watson
from Dogged Hearts