The Same Old God

I’m taking my new God
on a walk
to tell him what I expect
from this relationship.
He says, 
‘You’re a funny girl—
the way you worship, then 
ask your deity to remain
worthy.’ He knows
my heart is a shrine
that collapses just to be built
stronger in his image. 
He says, ‘You are
a harmless girl,
a sore throat which 
only speaks Sorry—
a lover first and 
human second.
I saw what you did 
with the symbols I gave you—
I wasn’t impressed;
I was disturbed.
Your sheets were folding
into themselves. 
The bed—a boat
from mars. Foreign 
and discomforting. 
Collapsing &
capsized by prayer.
You ordered a heart-
shaped bathtub &
never swam in it.
The others,
they dropped roses
from the Pantheon.
They turned the 
tram into a spaceship
and called it 
commemoration.
The outer world 
was sane in its 
symbolism while
you made a ceremony 
of grief 
called isolation. 
Do not ask me to change.
You’ll spend the last 
of your warm days 
listless, breathless under
the unmoored boat of me.’


Painted Sails

for my father, Wayne

1969,
You young boy—
painting the depth of sails.
Shadows deep
with the knowledge
of a stroke.