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He was the image in God's eye,
the seedling replanted in a new fertile land.
So his father told him, and so
Joseph believed.

Even at the bottom of the well,
as his brothers' envy condensed into echo.

Even from the corner of the cell,
his certainty protected him like iron bars.

He was the center of all things.
The Adam of the Age.

Joseph's egotism was more powerful than all his forefathers'
lands and wisdom. A lesson in the new faith.

Not even famine, barking from the hollow eyes
of his bastard family, moved him from this pedestal.

Until the innocence of Benjamin, bowing before him,
spoke a word not yet heard since Eden:

We. If only we…

And suddenly he was the image in his brother's eye.
And his brother was in his own.

And there was no longer any center.
Only intersection.

We wear ourselves like a great multicolored coat
thinking we are the reason, the wellspring, the key.
But it is the blurred skin-tones of interbred transcendence that forms
the true fabric of fineness and sense.

We © 1998 by Tobin James Mueller
"Ash" published by ArtsForge Press.
All rights reserved.