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Golden

by Timothy Donnelly
Illustration by Katherine Shapiro

Golden

Timothy Donnelly
2 Snaps

Everything will be fine, to paraphrase the anchoress, and everything

     will be golden, like a crock

of manuka honey or hand-picked Bartlett pear, or like the calf

     Aaron made out of earrings for the Israelites

who wanted a little something to sink their worship into, having

     already waited long enough already

for Moses to return from the top of Mount Sinai. There he carried on

     with the godhead in the form of a nonstop

burning bush Rastafarians equate with cannabis, which probably

     would have come in handy as the Lord’s

nerves frayed overhead like gray cotton candy, having freed His people

     from bondage only to watch as they broke at least one

if not three of His commandments—which, to be fair, hadn’t yet been

     presented to them as such, so

there’s that…. Regardless, Moses had to scramble to talk

     Yahweh down from wanting to slaughter each and every calf-

lover among them and just start over, saying what would posterity

     think of Him to hear

He had delivered the chosen out of Egypt only to kill them in the desert

     over a little craft project, although with no one left standing

to speak of, God’s motives would likely go unknown. Knowability

     is felt by many to lie

at the heart of the imbroglio, as humans like to worship

     mostly what they can know, or at least feast eyes on, and without

Moses, the Israelites lost focus, or lacked insight, or else just got

     swept up. In the end, He Who Is

recalculated, deciding he could make his point with a sacrifice

     of a mere 3,000, or the year-round population of Wellfleet, Mass.,

birthplace of America’s transatlantic wireless, and off whose banky shore

     Capt. Sam Bellamy, pirate, went down with
        the Whydah, a slave ship until he captured it in 1717, its hold

     said to be carrying five tons of indigo, silver, gold dust, and gold.

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