The Desert

The Desert

by Gwendolyn MacEwen

Only God lives there in the seductive Nothing
That implodes into pure light. English makes Him
an ugly monosyllable, but Allah breathes
A fiery music from his tongue, ignites the sands,
invents a terrible love that is
The very name of pain.

The desert preserves Him
as the prophets found Him, massive and alone.
They went there, into that awful Zero
to interpret Him.,
for Himself to know, for He said: Help me,
I am the one who is alone, not you. Tell me who I am.

Camels lean into the desert, lost in some thought
so profound it can only be guessed. When
Will God invent man? When
will the great dream end?
My skin crawls with a horrible beauty in this
Nothingness, this Everything—

I fall to my knees in the deep white sand, and my head
implodes into pure light.