Dearest, God, I have brought you the world.
Inside are the beginnings of the Earth, the great cities,
the moon circling the stars above the plains.
And here is the universe as you intended it,
all of a piece. Please take it now for your shirt,
your hat, your overalls—for you have
left the plow in the field and been a better father to me.
When I was five you stroked my hair
after I fell from my horse.
You tied my shoes before school
and did not leave me to the wavering mercies of my mother.
You gathered me into your chest and now you are gathering
me again, sewing stars into my hair, preparing me for marriage.
Tune my voice, Lord, my wayward tongue. Let me lie
along the breadth of you the way the planets do,
gas giants and the blue-stained-blue worlds dangling
from your fingers. Here is my heart, beating bloody
to the rhythm of your breath the first day you placed your mouth
over mine. Oh, take me now from this world into yours,
and you need not give me wings but only a little allowance
of your love. I will abide with you and comfort you,
my Father taken from me too soon,
your eyes growing heavy,
the world unraveling back to the beginning,
all the way back before I first found you in the garden,
under a bush,
burning fire in your hands.
Rebecca Cook is a Bread Loaf Scholar and writes poetry and prose. Her essay, “Flame,” was a notable essay in the 2013 Best American Essays. You can find her work in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, The Cortland Review, The Georgia Review, New England Review, Antioch Review, Massachusetts Review, Southeast Review, Jubilat, Seneca Review, and many others. She has published two collections of poems, The Terrible Baby and I Will Not Give Over. Her novel, Click, was published in 2014 by New Rivers Press. She blogs at godlikepoet.com.