out of the gray afternoon it might begin—the creation of the world. in the sound of a snow shovel scraping on ice and in the slush that remains a kind of ex nihilo is generated. from nothing. certainly from nothing. in the birthing of worlds there are no principles only the appearance of that which did not exist before and that now is. that now irrefutably is. where once the cosmos was simply gray expanse and the waters then below, or even the gathering of all things in one small, great magnitude, there is now the gray afternoon. no diving for worlds in the great sea. no trickster. nothing. a flock of dying geese crosses the new sky in a v that tapers to oblivion. a dog howls to no answer in the distance. his leg is broken and he is looking for a culvert to hide in. surely, they have come. in this world the names are stripped one by one and a first and last lonesome forked creature with twelve fingers and no face ticks off the forgotten. ah, yes. this swirling mass of creation, this pool of dim color that rises in the deep of the gray and seems to nod to the cracked moon above—this is genesis. the names fall off each and each wanders to their glory in a desert of rock and gray sun. a world. a new world.
Clark Chatlain has published poems and prose in several journals, most recently the anthology Poets Across the Big Sky II and the journals Natural Bridge, Minute Magazine, and Burning House Press. He currently lives and works in Missoula, Montana. He blogs at microproseblog.wordpress.com.