The god of the back
must be a lonely god,
god in the shape of man-headed hawk.
a man had been sailing the river
and the hawk had been flying beside him
for days. Mornings,
the man would wake and look,
yes, there it was, dark tip-to-tip, the hawk.
His hawk, he began to think of it.
And after a time
he forgot the point of the journey,
he only woke each morning to see
if the hawk was there, to move if the hawk
moved with him, to not rest
if the hawk did not rest. And all of this love
was done in silence, between animal
and animal. There
beside him in the air and there
beside him in the water, the yoke
of the hawk. Once he had a family. Once
he had a city to go to and something
to bring back. More and more
he began to see his life
as a story the hawk was telling
holding the rat of the field in its claw, meaning
There is another world
and I will take you in it.
is when he became the god,
god of the back, the beautiful
brow of leaving.
-- Beckian Fritz Goldberg
Lie Wide Awake, 2005