When It All Began

Garret Carroll

When It All Began

The exact center,
—the first breath of every living creature
where atoms of light shattered the darkness
made columns of sight for each cornea,
burning smells for each nose,
and wild elements for each wizard:
fires, waters, wind gusts, storms of dust, lashes of lightning,
life and death for the single-celled and the multicellular—
the leviathan’s first and last roar, the one that longed for anything.


Garrett Carroll is a writer and poet whose work has previously appeared in Star*Line, Red Planet Magazine (now defunct), Utopia Science Fiction Magazine, Altered Reality Magazine, and Aphelion Webzine. When he is not writing poetry or fiction, he is either eating, hiking, or attending classes for English Literature graduate school at North Dakota State University.

Author’s Backstory and/or Crafting: I wanted to take the Big Bang and make it something mythological and cretaceous. I decided to use the leviathan creature for this purpose, as leviathans are often depicted in spaces that are unlivable or unbreathable. There was some influence from the Book of Genesis as well.

Editor’s Comments and/or Image Credits: Normally, center-justified poetry doesn’t work for mature productions but it does here, perhaps because of the shape of the tree of life and of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

For me, the opening [When It All Began/The exact center] alludes to creation, the center of the garden, and the unfolding drama leading to the prophesy of the ultimate demise of that old serpent [viz. Leviathan] in Genesis 3there can be nothing lonelier.

“In the Book of Isaiah, Leviathan is a sea serpent symbolizing Israel’s enemies. In the Book of Job, Leviathan is a fire-breathing crocodile, perhaps personifying an aspect of creation that is beyond human comprehension or control. Leviathan in Hebrew [is transliterated] Livyatan, [and] in Jewish mythology, [it’s] a primordial sea serpent.” [https://www.britannica.com/topic/Leviathan-Middle-Eastern-mythology]

But it’s in Genesis 1:21 that it is first mentioned: God created the great tannin, which is best translated as a “dragon, serpent, or chaos monster.” [https://eyestoseetherevelation.com/genesis-day-five-the-chaos-monster/]

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