“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

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Can Never Remember Anything
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 19 2014 1:56 PM Scotland’s Attack on the Status Quo Expect more political earthquakes across Europe.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 3:24 PM Why Innovators Hate MBAs
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 3:07 PM Everything Is a "Women's Issue"
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:03 PM Kern Your Enthusiasm: The Ubiquity of Gotham
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  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.