The Problem Is Not That God Does Not Exist so Much as That He Will Not Bargain with You
I have a tree growing entirely
inside me: roots anchored
in the pelvic basin, and its top sprawls out
green leaves and tender branches from my skull.
It is a Black Maple. In cold and dark
we turn sap into sugar. Consequently, these days,
I am thinking about death: mine and others. Death
on the Nile.
Murder on the Orient Express.
Death in the Afternoon.
There were times, years ago,
I was very close
to stepping out in traffic's current
as the great white shark
of a city bus (in size, equivalent,
but you must substitute velocity
for teeth) swam towards me. Sometimes,
I would lull myself imagining
a pistol in my mouth. To fall asleep
thinking this was comforting.
Insert whatever image you prefer here: cigarette,
pacifier, bottle, cock. I was that tired.
I missed Tom that much. Last night
the bar was brown paper bag full packed
with friends like Concord grapes round ripe rich and succulent and held together
by the supple vine
of Alicia singing about how God turned Miriam white with leprosy.
Because she questioned, her skin peeled off and fell in sheets like loose pages
from a broken-binding book. I don't know
what's made me so entirely happy these past few years, buoyant
as an empty Pepsi bottle tossed in the Cuyahoga and through the muck
still bobbing unflappably my way along. World,
I want to ask how did I manage to find you,
and thank you for letting me come back.
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