Sunday, March 22, 2009

Joanne Merriam


If God did anything,
He invented comedy, so
you could take her hand, maybe make love,
maybe make smaller versions of yourselves,
watch the breeze flip the hem of her dress
and then she goes off with a man with a mustache.
You're on your fire escape in an undershirt crying
and it's the end of the world, I know.

If God did anything,
He threw away the plans.
We had to figure it out for ourselves:
plants using their bright stamens as tuning forks,
mammals using their thighs as spark plugs.
You can't help but imitate Him,
but whatever you throw away of yourself
you're still left with yourself,
everywhere, stumbling beauty, interconnected.

If God did anything,
He went away.
You take a walk by the old river,
ignore the whores and pawn shops
in favor of the soft fog making the bridge's arches
look like a world war two postcard of Europe.
You're just tired. You pretend you're in a movie,
an old movie, tipping your hat in the rain.

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