When G-d began to make the universe,
it was formless, void, darkness stacked
on top of darkness.
The wind carried over water
before there was wind to carry over water.
G-d said, “Let there be light,”
and slowly, the stars began to glow
in the white hot heat, small flames
like matchsticks and candle wicks
started to eat away at the darkness.
When G-d spun balls of rock
around the lights, the vastness,
the great emptiness, was given
a name, sky.
In that sky, that depth of space,
G-d honed in on one flickering star,
in the inner rim of a spiral arm
of some milky little galaxy,
looked at the third ball of rock,
and drenched it in what became the oceans.
The water ebbed and flowed across the rock
and this was called the tide.
Where the water stopped was called Eretz,
because it ran to do the work of its creator.
As millennia passed like minutes,
and day teased itself away from night,
The lush, green plants sprung up
from the earth, every seed,
every fruit, every vegetable,
medicine, and herb at once.
The waters brought forth the primordial ooze.
Every creature that would ever live swarmed
out from it, some sprouted legs and walked on
land, others grew wings and took to the sky.
Some stayed in the depths of the ocean,
cloaked in the great wet darkness.
G-d paused for a moment to think of what might come next.
Tyler Vile is the author of a novel-in-verse, Never Coming Home (Topside Press, 2015). She is a founding member of Hinenu: The Baltimore Justice Shtiebl, a radically inclusive synagogue. Her work has appeared in Femmescapes, Rogue Agent, Gadfly, Bluestockings Magazine, and The Bicycle Review, and in the anthology Resilience. Her interactive poetry zine, Hassidic Witch Murderer, is available on her website, tylervile.wordpress.com.