In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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Well, whatever it was,
flowed along for quite a while in a place
where there was no while or place, unknowable
and unknowing. Then suddenly
the ten thousand things happened,
and whatever it was found a voice
and said, “This is good,” and I think
that whatever it was
meant it. But,
there was a problem with this paradise —
a little boring
maybe, too slow, you know how nothing
changes in a sleepy little town —
and whatever it was had bigger fish to fry.
There were these two newcomers,
but they were as slow as anyone or
with one difference: they could be tempted, or
rather, should I say, tricked.
So whatever it was became a brown coyote,
stopped for a moment to appreciate his form reflected
in a nearby puddle,
licked his balls, then told the newcomers,
“Don’t eat that fruit,” and trotted off.
Coyote then found himself taken
by the sight of his own penis, decided
to revel in that one for a moment, and so
became a snake,
an emerald green tree snake, or maybe
it was just his penis painted day-glo and hung
around the tree like an arrow,
pointing at what was forbidden.
The snake said, “Eat it. Who you gonna believe:
me or that hairy coyote god who
licks his balls?”
Well, who were they gonna believe: a glistening
emerald green talking tree snake or a
flatulent brown coyote?
suddenly there were choices, like
an eight-alarm fire bell in a sleepy little town.
Creation heated up;
the ten thousand things heated up.
Coyote mocked the newcomers from his hiding place,
thundered and damned a little to keep
things interesting while they hung their heads,
convinced that they’d chosen the prize
from behind the wrong door.
They passed this story on to their kids,
while coyote laughed from
behind the tree.
John R. Spivey