“He didn’t want to believe. He wanted to know.”
—Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan’s wife, on why he didn’t believe in God
I want to know too. Belief and disbelief
are a pair of tourists standing on swollen feet
in the Prado—I don’t like it.
I do.— before the Picasso.
Or the tattoo artist with a silver stud
in her full red executive lips,
who, as she inked in the indigo blue, said,
I think the G-spot’s one of those myths
men use to make us feel inferior.
God, the G-spot, falling in love. The earth round
and spinning, the galaxies speeding
in the glib flow of the Hubble expansion.
I’m an East Coast Jew. We all have our opinions.
But it was in the cabin at La Selva Beach
where I gave her the thirty tiny red glass hearts
I’d taken back from my husband when I left.
He’d never believed in them. She, though, scooped
them up like water, let them drip through her fingers
like someone who has so much she can afford to waste.
That’s the day she reached inside me
for something I didn’t think I had.
And like pulling a fat shining trout from the river
she pulled the river out of me. That’s
the way I want to know God.
“God and the G-Spot” is from Mules of Love (BOA Editions, 2002)
Ellen Bass’s poetry books include The Human Line (Copper Canyon, 2007) and Mules of Love (BOA, 2002), which won the Lambda Literary Award. She co-edited, with Florence Howe, the groundbreaking anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks! (Doubleday, 1973). Her poems have been published in The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, The New Republic and many other journals. She also co-authored, with Laura Davis, The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. She teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University. www.ellenbass.com