the New Pantagruel: Hymns in the Whorehouse

A Short Creation Story

Elizabeth Bailie

After she was fashioned,
He fell into her loveliness
Like a sun disappearing over the horizon.
He tipped the chalice of her lips
And drank from it. All limits vanished,

When she looked into the lake of his eyes
She saw reflected the goodness of all things,
And when they embraced,
The fire of their love warmed the earth.

Before the day passed, rising from their depths,
A fear reared its heavy darkness in their minds,
And a deafening cold wind began to scatter the landscape
Extinguishing their flame.
Blinded by the scarcity of fire,
They began to see in each other
Only their own reflections,
And for the first time
Their voices fell separately
Against the walls of their surroundings.

A new day dawned over the scattered landscape.
Light was external, but brilliant.
Storm clouds receded, and the heavens inhaled the winds.

Everything now touched the man and the woman separately:
Whenever the woman shone brightly, an obscure shade fell over
the man,
And whenever the man shone brightly, an obscure shade fell over
the woman.

When the night sky dipped its face
Into the silver palate of the moon,
They discovered their bodies
Cast no shadow.

Their tears ran red
And many of their offspring perished
In the violent force of their falling.

It was a day like any other.
It came and went
Like a flower that opens and closes.

On this particular day, however,
A new man and a new woman
Ran as rivers do to lose themselves in the sea.
They were like snow swept from windblown trees
Illuminating sunrays
That would have otherwise been invisible.
Soon, the deaf began to hear, and the blind began to see.

The first man and the first woman,
Hearing and seeing again,
egan once more to burn in an edgeless blaze.

The woman was the first to speak the man’s new name.
Together, they embodied their longings.”

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