The Bed Of The World

By Erica Jong

The great bed of the world
arching over graves
over Babi Yar
with its multitude of bones,
with battalions of screams
frozen in a concrete glacier,
with pillows of earth
and comforters of green grass
covering all that dead flesh.

Dead flesh shall live again-
a dream in god’s endless night-
rise green out of the earth
as grass, as trees, as tomato stalks
bearing a bright red fruit
and the feuds of man-and womankind
shall be fed again from the same seeds:
the tomato, the mythic pomegranate, the biblical apple
all rising from the grass that springs
out of the screams of stopped mouths.

Sometimes I dream
that my bed is built over a ravine,
the ravine of Babi Yar, any ravine
where thousands died
and I moan in pleasure to propitiate the earth,
to make fruit ripen
and trees wave green leaves like banners
all because love can touch me still.

It is never enough to create.
The beast must feed its meat teeth too.
Out of the screaming mouth of earth
we feed the grass that covers
all our beds.

I wish I did not know all that I know.
Galaxies spin, grass grows, and people kill.
We are the only race to murder for our dreams-
and not for hunger,
hungering for dreams

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