To say my father loved Jesus
is as wrong as saying he feared him.
To him, Jesus was a landlord,
a creditor, someone owed a debt,
which, left unpaid, would end in pain,
not only justified but welcomed,
insisted upon, and in the great
tradition of the spawn of Yahweh,
pass on to children and their children,
the unwanted and unearned burden of birthright.
Good morning, says the baptist, and
slaps you on the butt. It’s time
to be fitted for your chains.
Like me, the day resembles an empty vessel,
empty of all that radiates outward,
all that intends malice or desire,
that winks a hundred wishes onward,
holding only God accountable,
leaving any sense behind,
out where there is no boundary,
where edge melts into center,
where all becomes nothing,
where stellar wind washes light
from the first Nothing screamed aloud,
down to the yearning of stars to be born,
to the thin layer of life
astride the cosmos.
In spring, my mother
would send us to the park
to pick linden flowers for tea.
Today, sitting in the shade,
I thought I heard her calling,
but it was only a breeze.
Is it possible to add anything
to a life, to ensure no alley
is left unexplored, no mystery
unexplained, no new device,
no diversion, no distraction
to hurry us along toward
the end of it all, the last
deceit, the final jest?
Shall we die wishing for one more
object, a last lunch, an unread memo?
Shall we panic at the end, unready,
as if no one had told us about this?
The ancient oak,
tired of resisting,
drops its leaves