“Creation Myth”

A weekly poem, read by the author.
March 5 2013 8:14 AM

“Creation Myth”

A pigeon eats a grape at the Firuz Aga Mosque in Istanbul in December 2008.

Photo by Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty Images

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Josh Kalscheur read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

A woman calling herself God
hangs in heaven.
From the light she grips
she cuts three boys, three sharp-rocked
beginnings. She wraps the reef around them,
she holds the water until they begin to grow
their shores. Birds from her hands
find what is sweet is not always
alive. From her sky
ribbed clouds go nowhere
the boys think. She becomes a shadow
when they want darkness. She becomes
a residue of heat they clean
from their breadfruit trees. It is sad, she knows,
but good, to want them scattered,
secluded, these incidents of light.

Josh Kalscheur's poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Boston Review, Ninth Letter, Witness, Alaska Quarterly Review, and the Cincinnati Review. He lives in Madison, Wis. where he teaches English at Madison College.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 23 2014 12:16 PM Another Intervention?    Anti-ISIS airstrikes aren’t about keeping Americans safe.  
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 23 2014 10:03 AM Watch Steve Jobs Tell Michael Dell, "We're Coming After You"
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon That Wasn’t
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.