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On a spherical earth

by Betania Tesch

It fell into place
when I watched you
walk away
through the horizon
and over the equator--
your body upside down
from mine,
a distance as insurmountable
as the differences between us--
even a tunnel from pole to pole
would be impermeable
for all the magma,
hunger, and loneliness,
though you do not suffer
from the latter.

You are the bearer
of a divergent seed,
one not spilled
from Adam's tainted loins,
filled with the
dry heat of temptation.
Instead, in your
long lost creation tale
the mother
scorned the serpent
the father
laughed his life away
and you know no shame
in nakedness,
no entropy in love.

You do not carry
the brand of original sin
tucked under your chest
pulsing desperately,
insatiable in its
guilty appetites.
You only smelled it on my breath
and licked the aftertaste
from my tongue
that night when you convinced me
the earth was flat,
that it was love when bodies
collided at random like this,
until you drank a bit too much
of my knowledge-soaked syrup
and retreated
to your hemisphere,
leaving me wringing my hands
in despair of
losing the hope of pure love,
the possibility of divine transcendence.

But you never had a saviour
never needed one,
especially not me.


Author's Note: playing with the idea of a spherical earth meaning there are those who walk upside down and are therefore another kind of person, without need of salvation. I need to revise this, so praise me critically. by the way...this is version 2.

Posted on 09/25/2004
Copyright © 2020 Betania Tesch

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Max Bouillet on 09/25/04 at 07:51 PM

Oh this is good. The theme you set up in this verse is sweeping and epic. The lines are impactful. I would love to see this developed more. Great read and please let me know the changes you make. :)

Posted by Alex Smyth on 09/26/04 at 11:28 PM

What a concept. Wonderfully phrased, I may have come in on the re-write, but as it stands now the poem touches the reader, gives food for meditation on how our relationships are tainted by our own imperfection, much less the object of desire. It's a wonder anyone can stay together, yet hope springs eternal, heh.

Posted by Amy Wustrin on 09/27/04 at 06:03 PM

Jesus Christ, my head is spinnying. effing amazing metaphore, in this catholic school girls opinion, and let me also add that ive been there too. thank you for sharing this.

Posted by Laura Doom on 09/27/04 at 06:55 PM

Compelling extended metaphor - I wonder if a 'flat', 2-d earth would be more appropriate in the context of bodies/characters being upside-down? Third stanza, addressing the concept of original sin, is excellent, particularly the questions raised about the nature of 'love' in the context of 'guilty appetites'. I agree with Max - you could expand on the idea of mortals as saviours :>

Posted by Rachelle Howe on 09/27/04 at 07:50 PM

definitely. this is evolving nicely. the metaphors and expectations that hang over and loom are just... awesome. i need to read it over again and take everything in.

Posted by Melissa Arel on 09/27/04 at 11:44 PM

WoW Bethany.. WoW is all I can say! This is amazing and I'm completely blown away.

Posted by Ashok Sharda on 10/01/04 at 04:10 PM

Well, this sounds a bit personal as if addressed to a particular being, though the central idea seems impersonal.Besides, the idea of salvation in it self is a possibility of a possibility of the fifth dimension with in the known four. One shall have to UNDO much much more than to just walk up side down. But yes, this has to be purely in relation to an object and not a subject. Nice theme Bethany.

Posted by Amy Wustrin on 10/04/04 at 07:50 PM

Congradulations on POTD!!! Very much deserved for thie piece! I'm still left breathless from the familliarity this strikes in me.

Posted by Uriel Tovar on 12/02/05 at 07:37 PM

like this one a lot

Posted by Maria Terezia Ferencz on 07/29/06 at 01:46 AM

Wow love this and the responsal poem that led me here. These lines are incredible.... "that night when you convinced me the earth was flat, that it was love when bodies collided at random like this," and oh so true

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