Rivers of blood converged through millennia,
each conversion an expansion and contraction
until diverted into two forks, where the one
they had become split and shrank
to a single sperm in a man’s testicles
and an egg in a woman’s ovary.
Too many events brought this about
to even begin to enumerate, a similar
process had occurred for each of his
parents, rivers into sperm and egg,
thousands of thoughts per day,
millions of minute actions, desires,
dislikes, meetings and partings when
one day, his mother took his father’s
erect penis into her body as they
became submerged in the streams
that had become them and strove
to reunite a stream that had split
and flowed through each of them
until ejaculation squirted sperm
hard at the matrix of the egg
and one microscopic minnow
managed to maneuver through
the chasm and find a means to penetrate
his female self in the warmth and darkness.
I’m sure you know how that goes.
But the dead inhabit those rivers
and each of the dead is her own river
and rivers blend together and mix
their identities but one of them was
the greatest poet
who has ever lived. Sadly,
no-one had ever even read
a single poem of his before they
all burned to fine ash and were
forever lost. As he lay dying of
a self-consuming mentality
realization of the loss to others
and himself filled him with remorse.
His life had been difficult, because
he was a difficult person — stubborn,
self-centered, brilliant but insecure,
emotional, indulgent, jumping
from subject to subject like a
schoolboy all the way into old age,
who was never sure he really belonged
And there were many more
in that river.
Women, too. One a scientist who,
a moment before a stroke demolished her
had visualized and comprehended
a unified theory, simple, easy to prove,
encapsulated in a formula no larger than
E equals MC squared. She was
always tightly controlled, methodical,
her thought process was a surgical
procedure, without emotion, precise
and cold, undaunted by any obstacle,
fearless, ascetic, yet affable, friendly,
social and somewhat exotic.
To say that these two lives were the dominant
streams in this case isn’t meant to imply
that the sperm and egg that made Rhosonny
was a simple mixture of the two. We speak
here of tendencies, but the channel
is irregularly shaped with obstacles
and plunges and many other beings living
in the river so that moment into moment
no tracing back will lead you to previous
incarnations: the complexity
of the solution
But these streams, these channels, are full of
thousands of species and thousands of individuals
of each species, who are also so composed until
it circles back into the fetus that was Rhosonny
before he came, bewildered, into a world
of panicking doctors because he didn’t cry
when they pulled him out of his mother,
and they thought he should be older than he was.
His parents loved him. His mother’s life
revolved around him. If his father hadn’t been
shipped out for the next 18 months,
what might not have been different?
And yet, his father loved him.
He was a quiet, fragile, though
somewhat large, infant who was often
kept in the hospital.
And so ends the birth of Rhosonny.
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