Before Dominion

Before dominion over air and land and sea
out on thin ice with jackal and seal
ptarmigan and tadpole
before dominion
did we join pleasure and suffering
hand by hand
was pain of pox purple as it transformed
newborns coral pink into some sacred giveaway
did we kneel to kiss the ground
wailing in celebration of an icy magic
draining one life, filling another
taking eye for eye so all could see
how did we kiss the ground
together nose to trunk
bark to feather
singing bones and snapping fingers
did we climb tunnels to find where scars
ended and new petals emerged
did we color the water sanguine as
we crowded clay churned shores
so to howl at our triumph over thirst
for another day
roll on our backs, kicking the tawny air
with hoof and talon
before dominion
did we feed on our best parts
tenderloin and opal visions
hot fire to signal the fact
we never asked to be born
and find it all the more fullfilling
before dominion
did we forget to be separate
forget about everything but to swim in the dance
inside coming out on long stilted legs
listening for the story
how thunder found its voice in us


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