A God To Belong To

Rebecca Maillet





I want to kiss as I want

to weed the garden—a cleansing.


This, too, is how God would kiss,

I imagine. I am myself also


a God. Because my body, too,

housing surprise at the grand narratives


we’ve created. Heaven, Hell—

just other words for garages bloated full


of belongings from the dead. I am walking

and I remember something that you wrote:


“be your best gifter.” You, sweet friend,

who are also a God and you knew it, which is why


you are no place and every place. Which is why

when I walk I walk to pay attention. There are kittens


or a newborn crying from the house nearby,

who can tell? Dahlias in dusk light


from a stop sign in the rain.

I am thinking about the last of the milk


weed flying about the yard and how it is erotic

turning to tuft like that as it does, unfurled


in its last becoming. God is the romance of the world

trying to free itself. Of this, I am sure


as I stand in front of these autumn dahlias. I reach

out to touch them like sun fingering contrast


into the day and I think again of the fool that

I want to become. An unlocked thing: the milkweed,


the kittens and newborns in new skin

sagging in the dusk light—all Gods


in their quiet declarations—showing in a moment

all it is we can belong to.


Rebecca Maillet is a poet, an educator, a lover of the earth, and is deeply committed to educational justice. She teaches and studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she is a PhD candidate in English. She currently lives in Northampton, MA with her beloved dog, Oliver.