Genesis as Explained to Dying God Suffering Dementia

          remember how you once sang,
when there was no one here
          looking up and listening to you?

before the trilobites and plankton,
          kinetic with envy,
and water swallowed everything—

          before we knew what grew out of it
would be worrisome
          and that you would grow tired.

before an october morning
          turned apricot
and you thought you’d overheard your mother

          from the living room
say “curb the spill
          with something quilted”,

“learn to be a satellite
          of yourself” — knowing
she’d died years ago.

          before people could be mistaken
for shrapnel
          and you’d pinned

instant gratification
          to your wall
like a merit badge.

          before merit had been invented
and the petri-dish containing the world
          i was conceived in

was half full of washington state
          and half full of enamel and waiting.
before its spilling over

          onto your bedroom floor
—where with a pair of latex gloves
          and a fist of terror,

a little know how
          and some force…
before this became the popular theory

          amongst scientists
defining creationism,
          you were first a child

listening to the colors outside
          waiting on the moon to eclipse
into darkness,

          inventing the first modern
          i’m not here to make you

stomach this again, mr. god. believe me,
          i’m done with ghosts.
i’m just saying—remember— the scraps of 

exposures you collected in the shoebox
beneath your bed. yes, the box
          with bottle caps and pictures of nameless

naked women, a jar of sand
          from new mexico and the honey suckle
the neighbor girl gave you in the alleyway behind

          your grandmother’s house—
they are all the last of something, now.
          what was it to be something

like a human,
          watching the sun pour
from the vase of your window

          the last time through your hands
and onto the newly
          spurted mountains strewed

about your bedroom floor--
          onto the people that would be
one day mistaken

          for shrapnel. remember how
you once sang
          when no one was here

looking up and listening to you,
          when it was only night.





Keegan Lester holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. He is the co-founder of the journal: Souvenir. Currently he lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, but has lived in four different states over the last four years. He doesn't mind airports or airplanes. He doesn't mind things resembling the shapes of clouds and vice versa.

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