First Morning of the World by Zachary Horvitz

On the first morning of the world
God gave himself a gift —
an anonymous gift
called wakefulness.
He didn’t ask
for anything.
He didn’t ask for it.
Like all gifts it was terrible.
Imagine the burden of stars.
the burden of mountains,
the burden of hearts.
Imagine a birthday
on which none of your friends
or distant relatives or parents
were present,
a birthday on which everyone
else was present
including the dead
(or only the dead!) —
imagine now
the burden of other times
you carry.
They have showered you with gifts
and left all the cake
on your plate.
They left early,
too soon —
so soon.
How could you make out a particular face
from this general sea of faces?
How could you write one thank-you note?
At night the shame would be vast.

– Zachary Horvitz

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