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By Sarah Sullivan
God is a retarded child
juggling planets and asteroids with chubby fingers,
swirling clouds together like finger paint
over the vast blue playground ball of the earth
and pushing this ball in a tight tether around the sun.
His clumsy hands shake as he speeds up time,
slows it down, speeds it up again–
volcanoes erupt, wildfires rage, lava rolls across hot plains
and melts into sticky wax like crayons on a radiator.
The fossils of trilobites shatter into dust
as he grinds the tectonic plates together in frustration.
Gradually his anger subsides, and the earth cools
like a child recovering from a fever
as he lays down to nap in a cotton blanket of clouds.
Below him the rain gently stills the hot ground
while he settles into fretful sleep.
At night he cries in his celestial crib
beneath the cold stars and the soundless moon.
Sarah Sullivan is a graduate nursing student at the University of Virginia.