Times like these, I search for God

Which hurts to say,
and hurts to feel —

Because I don’t know if God exists,
but he is supposed to be
unknowable, supreme, and eternal

And if that’s true, well, he sounds a little bit
like my mother. Right?

If God is essential and half-imaginary,
he might as well be math—
He sounds to me less like a father
and more like algae, or moss,
the first things to grow in dark lifeless places

I don’t think God could be a chess master,
watchmaker, or even a carpenter.
There’s no way some skilled creator could reach down to our planet
with tweezers and spectacles and scalpels
to carve out the bad and give the good room to breathe
If he’s gonna prod and squeeze us into some unknown blueprint —
if this is what the blueprint looks like —
I am not on board.

God seems to me more like an electron —
so complex we can only guess at its parts,
so essential we hardly ever remember they’re there
Our minds touch upon them like a girl’s hands in a dollhouse,
rendered clumsy and cartoonish against incomprehensible detail
Doesn’t that seem right, that God should be
the center of a vast universe too small for us to see?

I like that God might then be inside me, and you,
and whirling away from freeways,
and clinging to our arm hairs
God is your blue jeans and your winkles,
the ebb and flow of our cytoplasm,
so integral we’ve never known life without it

What else can we call cancer but God-growth?
Sinuous, unchecked, guilty of nothing
but the urge to grow?

‘Cause when you can pull light from darkness,
man from earth,
your children from their paradise,
there’s no reason not to
spend a few lifetimes as a starfish.

When I feel abandoned, like this,
when I feel played with and cast out,
I close my eyes and think of oceans
And the strange milk-pale creatures that live there,
deep down,
where no light reaches—
so adaptable they are alien,
so hardy they would perish in the sun

God isn’t, then, gone.
He’s just lost, fifty thousand leagues down,
a single phytoplankton
drifting slowly round.

Who, after all,
can blame him?


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