Saturday, March 21, 2009

What you cannot see

We would all believe in God
if he were handing out candy bars
from a bag that even His long hand
could touch the bottom of,

We might all smoke the same cigarettes
if our lungs would last

a thousand years of deep woodsy drags
and long harmonica renditions
of Bird's serpentine serenades,

Guns would be allowed in churches
if Jesus were a wanted man in Rio,

Maybe the sound
of traffic would
be flute music
and dialogues starting with
"Please" and "Thank you"
if we could buy more time
like it were bandwidth
or an empty store next door
we could lease,

But I go on instead
with the meanest of expectations
about what the neighborhood
has planned for me,
my foot hardly hits the first step
from the porch
when a cell phone
makes noises like
water flushing down deep pipes
and the woman answers it,
brings it to her ear and
begins to speak at a volume that
would make Satan bang on the
ceiling with every witch's broom
he could find,

Every other son and daughter
of an imperfect marriage
between heaven and hell
yakking it up with all their hand gestures
even though there is no
in front of them,
speaking loudly short of yelling
with every move they could bust
because what they can't see
cannot be disproved
and who or which might
beat them up or steal
their seats at the cafes,
grim thoughts that make
the five dollar coffee drink
in front of them
taste flat as cans
that have just met
a the back tire of a
a really big truck.

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