The Mantis Shrimp
I saw the men constructing heaven upon the earth
with cedar beams hewn from God’s great forests.
The hope of grandeur, architrave and shaft
stood stripped and aromatic,
red muscle and white sinew caught mid flex
from earth’s intermotion.
I saw blueprints lined even and steady
with a calm, white pencil.
There were squared spaces made for rooms,
and I imagined myself reclined therein
beneath electric lights.
I saw women, too, constructing heaven upon the earth
stitching glory up in thick bright blankets for the winter.
Crimson and azure, veridian and gold,
They sang an old love song while their pretty hands fluttered,
piecing up the Fatherland
from flannel bits.
I saw the scientists constructing heaven upon the earth.
Ho! Science is a great and glorious revelry, mostly honest.
It glimmers like colored glass, crackled in the light.
In their company I let the fingers of my open hand
spread against the freckled expanse
and measure the nebulae which
ring with holy sound and space
like da Vittoria.
The stalked, stuttering eyes of the mantis shrimp
divide and compound.
What do you see, my Love?
I saw the children of God constructing gods upon the earth,
by reason and by ruler, licking the graphite tips,
scrawling out theorems and dull liturgies.
They are angry, truth be told.
Or perhaps they are only lonely.
There is a temple rising in the East,
a great shrine spun where Seraphim,
full of ardor, gasp to behold grace.
It calls to the weary and the bright.
It quickens hunger’s roar.
And we desire.
We desire, we desire,
pressing our palms into our stomachs,
when we should only hold out