Fall 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 4 Poetry |

The Old Religion

That was the world before the world,  where we drifted, weightless, in each other's arms.  Or before there were arms, when we were only quiet together,  wrapped in countless swizzles of DNA, magenta nets  of veins weaving themselves upon that astonishing loom. And  there was the swift music of our hummingbird hearts, the steady  boom of a distant drum, unimportant and ignorable.  We could not grasp the notion of anything other than us,  did not even know which color the dark had chosen for our eyes. Or  even that we had eyes. That was the world without desire.  We had all we could ever want, the urgent arithmetic of cell upon cell  like the golden honeycombs our tongues would plunder  years later, the liquid sweet and warm on our lips. How we would  play each translucent scale of fragile ribs like wind chimes, the  twenty bones of each hand intertwined the way wild roses will trellis  a tangle of d

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