Like a Brick Upon Everything
by Kenneth Godoy
perhaps in the wither of the mother’s hand
now that she had taken cancer again,
or the silent scream of three birds in Beacon’s alley,
in the window receiving sun after sun without trepidation,
perhaps in the color of water, in the strength
of the dying night, perhaps in the swinging
wings of the wind hard like a brick upon everything,
or in this black, unending river,
perhaps in the tiny, green leaves, the weeds
that grow sharp and hidden with pain or in the soft spears
of flowers that only grow and die, perhaps in the piercing weight
of the sky, in the shape of thing of everything,
and in this untouchable body of you, perhaps in your giving
spirit that smiles again to the warmth of midday that
I find strength to live again because nothing makes
sense and so everything does and can.
Then perhaps in the silent name of god,
in a single, eternal syllable, in the thought
of forgiveness comes a yearning I am meant
to question and know yet never understand.
Kenneth Godoy is a poet and photographer.
Photography by Kenneth Godoy
3 thoughts on “Kenneth Godoy: Like a Brick Upon Everything”
I enjoyed this poem, Kenneth.
I’m curious about something–what was your reason for leaving the name of God uncapitalized?
The original title for the poem was “Comfort in the Shape of Nothing.” The poem seeks for comfort despite the circumstances of confusion. Because nothing makes absolute sense, the poem seeks for comfort as an thing in itself: perhaps in the black, unending river, perhaps in a transient flower’s existence, perhaps in a window filled with sun every day, or perhaps in a mother surviving cancer again. God takes shape in this environment but only as a silent name, as a giving spirit (still intangible and un-absolute) that merely gives comfort but doesn’t explain why or become the comfort itself. The focal point of the poem isn’t in god but in attempt to understand the why of everything despite good and evil, despite comfort or confusion and despite or because of god. The most absolute thing the poem finds comfort in is in the thought of forgiveness (of self or of others) and even this comfort becomes a thing the poem question and knows but never understands. God being de-capitalized isn’t a denial of the divine or a mockery of the holy, but a refusal to acknowledge the comfort being an absolute thing.
Thank you for this explanation. I think I understand it better now=) There is something in us that delights in mystery, that is achingly glad to know that we can never understand fully. I see how you were leaning into expressing that. And as you imply, as long as we are endlessly questioning, we won’t find absolute comfort anywhere, not even in God.