Marianne Boruch

(1950 / Chicago / United States)

What God Knew - Poem by Marianne Boruch

when he knew nothing. A leaf
looks like this, doesn't it? No one
to ask. So came the invention
of the question too, the way all
at heart are rhetorical, each leaf
suddenly wedded to its shade. When God

knew nothing, it was better, wasn't it?
Not the color blue yet, its deep
unto black. No color at all really,
not yet one thing leading to another, sperm
to egg endlessly, thus cities, thus
the green countryside lying down
piecemeal, the meticulous and the trash,
between lake and woods
the dotted swiss of towns along
any state road. Was God

sleeping when he knew nothing? As opposed
to up all night (before there was night)
or alert all day (before day)? As opposed to that,
little engine starting up by itself, history,
a thing that keeps beginning
and goes past its end. Will it end, this
looking back? From here, it's one shiny
ravaged century after another,
but back there, in a house or two: a stillness,
a blue cup, a spoon, one silly flower raised up
from seed. I think so fondly of the day
someone got lucky
and dodged the tragedy meant for him. It spilled
like sound from a faulty speaker
over an open field. He listened from
a distance. God-like, any one of us
could say.

Topic(s) of this poem: God


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 7, 2015

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 7, 2015


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