~for Cormac McCarthy
If all stories have been told
and there’s only variance in their telling,
what of gods then,
who know all things?
Future, past, present,
swirled like honey around a silver spoon
before stirring through so much bourbon
meant to coat a singer’s throat.
Perhaps God is the story.
Or it becomes the story
through the sacrament of telling,
the sharing of experience,
of details flitting like weightless spiders
across the surface of a pond
where that pond embodies the essence
of human spirit
cupped and passed between
strangers thirsty from their travels,
much spilling through aching fingers,
dribbling to the ground.
Some losses can be felt
before their arrival.
A thirst before physical exertion,
They hang like malevolent clouds
beyond the precipice of our world,
unseen yet present
in an atmosphere thick with expectancy
like the scent of blood
in a toolshed, where something happened
both unspeakable and haunting.
This is the nature of stories,
and all have a role to fulfill
in their making, in their living,
each tongue a gear work
in the mechanism of the universe.
Today, the gods frowned
and shook their collective heads,
they dragged their gnarled knuckles
through their beards
or across the gruff whiskers of their chins,
and they acknowledged
that another ramshackle room
had been emptied of its guest,
a flicker of lightning
gone to wander the outer rim,
returned to the story
from which his ether had been birthed.
The telling, however, remained,
for nothing once spoken can be unmade.