Fearfully unmade

by Erica Charis-Molling

Selected as the poetry runner-up of the 2020 Beacon Street Prize by Ocean Vuong author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Night Sky with Exit Wounds.

Erica Charis-Molling is a poet, educator, and librarian. Her writing has been published in literary journals including Presence, Crosswinds, Glass, Anchor, Vinyl, Entropy, Apricity, Mezzo Cammin, and is forthcoming in Tinderbox. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart and Orison anthologies. She’s an alum of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. She currently lives in Boston and works as Education Director for Mass Poetry.

Erica Charis-Molling

Fearfully unmade

by Erica Charis-Molling

In the beginning,
god unsaid the dark.
He drew in a long breath
and unemptied his lungs.
And the spirit of god
unfloated, while the water
swallowed her, untroubled.

In the beginning,
god unmorned the night
and unmooned the day.
God disconnected water
from water, breaking
the blue in two. God pulled
back the sea from the land
as the waves dug clinging
fingers in the sand, stumbling
grains running distraught
to the ocean. This breaking

water unnamed, unclaimed
but teeming with need.
So many mouths full
of nothing, no word
for mother or the moon
as she glowed with ungodly
light at the earth split
open, torn wide by seed.
Here the beginning of her
undoing. Long before

god dismembered Adam
for Eve, first woman
fearfully unmade,
there was this: this love
unbelievably brutal.
For god so loved
the world’s unending.