Richard Robbins

Creation Story

God grew tired of his one and only self and so created Two.
Evening and morning. Earth and sky.
That first billion-year-long week, he divided and divided. All the birds.
 All the creeping things. Out of a single nothing he made a species,
 then he created sex to make that species two.
You and I, sometimes we look for One, that place we always knew we
 came from but could never prove. A certain dark behind the night.
 The blinding white behind sky. The smell simmering from earth
 when we’re down on our knees in the garden planting the one
 seed, row after row.
You and I, sometimes we make four or eight things out of our loneliness.
 These are the days the table could break in half with all the wrong
 words. Every road leads to Babel. Each of us has the same dog that
 will understand only us.
Most of the world does not care about this.
Most of the world rejoices in infinitude. The overflowing orchard. All the
 virtues, all the viruses still to count. Cardinals feasting on the
 insects of our city. Flies on the corpse of a despot. Endless music.
 Endless questions. Endless amusement. Endless beautiful bodies on
 the beach stretching north and south on August afternoons. Even
 mountains fall across their fault lines to make other landscapes.
 Even a typhoon boils a country back to zero, all for the joy of
 beginning again.

Richard Robbins’s most recent poetry collections include Radioactive City and Other Americas. He currently directs the creative writing program and Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
MORE POEMS