I found God
holed up with a jayhawke in my corn crib.
They were quietly discussing Cain and knocking back mescal
like nobody's business; certainly not mine.
"He thought I was a vegetarian," said God, "brought me
three sheaves of corn then got pissed because I rejected them;
but I made his parents in my image and everyone knows
that you eat the world or the world eats you-
I ask you, friend hawke, how simple a truth is that?"
Seems Cain rose right on up, iced Abel's ass with a sharp slate;
then offered up a ribroast to granddad in an effort to keep the peace,
because of the corn. " I of course had to send him packing;
Abel was a tough old bird, too tough to tenderize."
The hawke nodded in commiseration while wiping mescal
from his blue breast with one wing.
But Cain prospered anyway; built a city on corn and babble-
"But what can you do," said God, "they are only grandkids after all.
Played too much with the ravens when they were kids;
nasty birds with evil dispositions" The hawke seemed to agree,
his head tilted slightly to the left, the better to hear by.
I walked away then, never an interloper, wondering why
silence can be so goddamned loud; loud enough to wake the dead-
send them slope-footed up my back stairs to sit at my kitchen table,
we, the oldest of friends, comfortable in the weight of our skins,
listening as the stilted truth pushes through a rusty sieve.
You eat the world or the world eats you said somebody in some long ago.
And everyone knows, as God and the hawke will tell you if you ask;
We lie best when we lie to ourselves.