Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

God’s word; mind over matter

God’s word; mind over matter
Photograph via Flickr by Adam Foster
mind over matter

A few days after our daughter’s
death my wife was given a rhinoceros
head to dissect. She came home weeping
Was such an assignment fair? The cheap
scalpel sliced her as it skidded off the thick
hide. The tiny eyes, known for blindness,
saw right through her. Quit, I pleaded.
Let distance deal with the dead.
The horn, though hard, is only hair.
But she kept at it, going as far as care
could take her, growing thinner, raw
fingers softening into mittens of gauze.


God’s word


We listen

        to church bells
        and silence that echoes
        like harder metal within the tongue.

We listen

as children will
to the toothless mouths of shells

and as adults do
to the gape of skulls.

We listen and listen

          like bombing survivors
          for the saving All Clear.

But God’s word is hard to hear.


God’s a stutterer.
He wants to speak.
He has a great deal to say.
It is not His fault
He was born with this affliction
or that He was assigned
by the Demiurge
to a world that insists
on asking

why –

So he tries,

          Uh uh uh,

          but the Word
          that is Flesh
          gums His teeth,
          glues His lips,
          roots in His
          tongue, Aaagh…


it falls to us
who were given
mouths for breath
to speak for the One
who cannot

                    But –

we must


our ears

above all
what it was

we asked.