Poem Misquoting Paul’s Letter to The Corinthians

I’m beginning to equate God with nothing
but the tedious stammer

of Porky Pig’s bald body popped
through the center of a bass drum, announcing

the end of another Merry Melodies
production. A vacuum

where no one dies until they look down
in midair. Years I’ve spent

writing a sight gag for the failure
of my kidneys, barrel

of a misfiring cannon I stick my head into
over and over. I make choices

I have seen other people make, but I don’t
hope someone will stop me.

In therapy, this impulse is named
survivor’s guilt, but religion says I seek

forgiveness. I spent last night doing cocaine
off my mother’s Christmas china.

The body is a temple, I blurt at the cop in line
at the gas station Blimpie.

He’d denied himself bacon on a turkey melt.
Authoritarian glare, silent language

of law enforcement, meaning we both know
I’m still a little fucked up.

There’s a hollow I carve into myself
where I keep what I know

to be holy. The burden of all flagellates
is that the answer is always God.

God in my sock or in the icebox, God
measured and balanced

on a plate or peaked along a key ridge.
Always patient, always kind. God without

envy who doesn’t boast, God of trust
who gives hope, who will not delight in evil

but rejoice in the truth. If there is
knowledge, it passes.

 

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