The water waited for him to start again,
the water that had swallowed other worlds,
the worlds that hadn’t pleased either of them.
The water waited for a new boundary,
a new glory and a new beyond,
for God to trace the foundation with his finger
and find new words for another world,
for a heaven and an earth that wouldn’t be swept away,
for a remaking that wouldn’t require regret.
The water waited for his spirit to seize the waves,
for God to layer himself in a shawl of light
and dress his feet with clouds
and set precious stones and pearls in the firmament
for when the mountains would find the sky again
and when land would be pulled from the depths
and every valley and desert and garden
would sit with an open face to the sun,
to wind and thunder, to growth and drought,
to spring color and colorless winter.
The water waited to see the animals again,
the shapes they would assume and the sounds they’d make,
the water waited for the hugeness of the great whale
and the water waited for its own dispersal
and its own long life in rivers and streams,
and it waited for the warmth of the sun and the pull of the moon
and every lesser, greater, and holy light.
The water waited for words, a hedge of syllables
and a border of song, speech, and atonement,
the water waited for the first fire, the sparks,
God’s hot hands and his heated anvil
and the fashioning of the four corners and the firmament.
The water waited for firmness and shape, for a fence,
for structure and demarcation and design, for form –
the water was wasting away as chaos
and waited for God to get up again,
to see what eyes God would give him, what ears,
what spreading, rippling, swelling skin,
to try again for an eternity of life and change.
The water waited to hear God say again
that this struggle and this wrestle
was all the radiance and splendor he meant,
and the water looked off to where God sat,
still and cool in an evening he was afraid to make into day,
and the water waited.
Tim Miller‘s poetry and essays have appeared in Parabola, The Wisdom Daily, Jewish Literary Journal, Crannog, Southword, Londongrip, Poethead, and others across the US and UK. Two recent books include Bone Antler Stone (poetry, The High Window Press) and the long narrative poem To the House of the Sun (S4N Books).