Ayn Ranned


Atlas didn’t look back but
nevertheless he travels and arrives
having never once left the cosmic plane in which he shrugged
and finds her there:
the earth, Mother Earth, mater,
naked as he and squatting upon leaf-lined soil
swirling with flora with fauna with dirt with cloud with
everything that matters,
as a matter of course.
He stops stunned in his tracks blinking dumb and breathless—
surely not.
To have traveled all this way and gotten
She is a big, fat, indigenous woman, rich deep and round
her great thighs quiver intermittently
their own thunder, self-contained. And she squats
with sun-kissed skin dark, crisp-colored in all her folds and creases,
fine and smooth like rainwashed blends of sediment. She squats,
her breasts and belly brimming and taut and full with perpetual pregnancy.
Her lids lie shut over her eyes. Thick black lashes
grace wide cheeks and do not stir, but her mouth
her ample lips spread into a broad, easy smile at his approach.
“I feel you coming,” her voice is warm—so clear, so true it streams
sunlight from the center of his own loins, illuminating a darkness and
heating a chill he’d hardly known
were inside him.
He falls to his knees and sobs
though from joy or despair he hardly knows
as fire so fierce kindles the wild,
in his cold marble-cast heart.
“Lay with me a time,” she responds softly to his cries,
“I feel the stirrings of your labor and mine drawing close
to a close to the birth of a new dawn.” She kneels and
her hips sway left and
they sway right,
circling in and around the cosmic pivots
of ever-churning infinity.
He crawls through mulch toward joy and he squats before her,
leaving despair to fade behind
cups her face in his hands as she opens her eyes, and he asks
all rich timbre and bold tremor:
“will I die?”
She nods, one hand caressing her own swollen belly,
the other his thigh. “And then I will carry you a time,
until you are reborn.”
He presses his fervent lips to hers and they melt, let loose
into one another with passion that pulls twilight blanketing
shelter about them and then make the glow of night-long love
that tightens her womb in waves
in rhythm with two hearts soaring ecstasy.
“It’s time,” she cries, she breathes,
cheek pressed against the damp of his neck,
“seed yourself in me,” and the sun rises as she comes
into him as he comes into her
they both coming in
coming home—coming into oneself, one’s own.