Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 96

The Birth of Shiva | JoAnne McKay

Wishing I would be present at his first

words, rich click redolent with real belief

about the whys of the world, not just whats,

whens, wheres. In the geological rift

observe, keen, transitional man of species

indeterminate. I need not imagine.

To stand beside australopithecines

(we did for them, one way or another)

with habilis, handy, then ergaster,

then heidelbergensia in their place.

Step time, step pace; erectus in Asia,

we did for them, one way or another;

neanderthalensis we did for too.

You know the rest. Not just skulls, skulls, skulls

and syllables, but carving flesh man,

these ones that went before, the ones that bore

familiar stuff, unusual nonsense.

All that requires is several million years:

I would attend until the moment when,

precisely when, the canny man became.

There is no shade between us; his sun ours,

his needs, wants, lusts and his unsettling tongue

ours. I could press flat forehead against his,

he would press and penetrate, dark, fertile.