Before there was light there was wind and it rained on the newborn earth four million years. The cloud vapor was so thick no sunlight reached the earth. We were burning, even the rain could not cool us. On ourselves we rained, in one self we burned–our self was all one mass and all we are was present then, already understood. There could be no thought yet of continents or ocean, no forest, fern, bog, nothing living and nothing to live upon. But everything existed. Molten rock, that great creation soup, simmered, bubbled–take and eat. It was my body. There is a planet that is a diamond. It lies near to us in our own galaxy, this Milky Way, Path of Ghosts, the stepping stones that spirits follow through the spiral, out to the other edge, the nothing before being. This diamond planet laid along their way, rings like a gong in space, it chimes an aching high note, they must not stop there but continue on, the lonely, last, difficult, desired leaving that is return and it is said they begin to remember as they approach it, to long for what they came out of, stars and darkness. Then they are glad. Not they, but us. We are those spirits finding our way without eyes. Before there was light there was wind and it was a new earth. And before this earth, there was no wind, we could not rain on ourselves, we had not begun, and, unfallen, we knew no path to rise.

Cynthia Huntington’s newest book, Heavenly Bodies, was a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry. Her poem in this issue is from a work in progress, Terra Nova.