Why I Write Poetry
by Julia Vinograd
Because I can't trust God
to look after the world and my friends.
Worship sure, wandering forests of legend
braiding flowers from the Tree of Life in my hair
while God's beard storms overhead.
But not trust. People die. Everyone dies.
It may be God's will but it's my won't.
Sea turtles live a thousand years.
My words can't become flesh.
My words can't heal an open wound.
But I am a poet and I know we need more time
to make our own huge splendid mistakes,
mistakes we deserve, not just the small clinical mistakes
built into out bodies.
We could have many-colored rings spinning around our minds
like the rings of Saturn.
We could map constellations around a lover's face
and every child could be the Messiah
because the world always needs saving.
God, it is a very beautiful world,
but no thank you, it is not enough.
No thank you for the sunrise when our eyes go blind.
A blank page is a place to list the creation
we weren't given. A shopping list of eternity
where we're never too sick to swallow fresh blueberries
and where the dance never ends.
A blank page is a paper bird to fold up and fly.
I can't change anything but I am a poet
and if I can't trust God I must speak
for the world and my friends.
Want more. Want so much more.
Test each day and night for ripeness
like a melon at the market.
You're crucified on the hands of a clock,
pull out those nails.
I'm throwing you a rope of words.