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I let them choose the rock from which the water would flow.
Pick a rock, any rock, I said.
Imagination is man’s power over nature.
God didn’t like that, though I only thought it.
Such is our relationship.
For that, he whispered (though many think he bellows),
No Promised Land for You.
Looking for any excuse.

You cannot do anything in this life for the reward.
I let them think they chose.
I saw the fountain in the rock and set it free.
It looked like a beehive. Bees, the thirteenth day.
The water shot out, a geyser,
rivulets to rivers.

A well has only one mouth but many voices.
I heard them all: This manna is too dry.
Where are we going?
I want his wife.
Only God’s voice was singular.
Synonymous only with Itself.
My twelfth-century namesake says
the highest form of praising God

Is silence.
I cannot be silent, despite my scarred tongue.
He also says God has no body.
(Why should a well have a mouth?)
I feel comfortable attesting to that.
They said, We choose this one.



Patty Seyburn has published five books of poems: Threshold Delivery (Finishing Line), Perfecta (What Books), Hilarity (New Issues), Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State), and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine). She is a professor at California State University, Long Beach.



Photo by Mario La Pergola on Unsplash

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