Why did God create light?
We could have found our way around by sense of smell,
gliding through scrub-brush like wolves,
absorbing the world’s murk through the flare of our nostrils,
drilling or drifting, dancing instinctively with outbreaks of texture and sensation,
acting only through our amygdala, adopting creature ways,
embedded, infused, and intoxicated by the immediacy of existence.
The fruit from the Tree of Knowledge could not have opened our eyes.
We would not go whoring after our eyes.
No one could do what was right in his eyes.
Lot’s wife would not have gazed back toward Sodom,
And David could not have spied a woman bathing.
We would respond to each encounter in turn,
Alerted but unassessing, using neither schemes nor schemas,
mingling the sacred and profane.
But if we could not view our surroundings in their discrete elements,
We could not mark the ground on which we stood.
We would not say, this I do and no other.
There would be no antithesis and no dialog.
No wrongs could be called out.
No one would rise to challenge God,
and to disappoint God, and to ask for favor in God’s eyes.
And therefore all God’s goodness would not pass before our faces.
This poem was published in the 2020 Wising Up Press anthology Goodness.
October 30, 2012