Issue 147, Summer 1998
With a shriek gulls fled across a black sky,
all of us under the pier were silent,
my blood ached from waiting, then we resumed.
"You' re just like us," some bastard said;
and it was true: my hair was close-cropped,
my frame reposed against a piling, my teeth
glistened, my prick was stiff. Little by little
they had made me like them, raptly feeding
in silhouette, with exposed abdomen,
like a spider sating itself. For a moment,
I was the eye through which the universe
beheld itself, like God. And then I gagged,
stumbling through brute shadows to take a piss,
a fly investigating my wet face.
Stay married, God said. One marriage.
Don't abortion. Ugly mortal sin.
Beautiful gorgeous Mary loves you
so much. Heaven tremendous thrill
of ecstasy forever. What you are,
they once was, God said, the beloved ones
before you; what they are, you will be.
All the days. Don't fornicate. Pray be good.
Serpent belly thorn and dust. Serpent belly
sing lullaby. Beautiful gorgeous Jesus
loves you so much. Only way to Heaven
church on Sunday. You must pray rosary.
Toil in fields. Heaven tremendous thrill
of ecstasy forever. Don't fornicate.
hefting me onto him
he let me cling on
like a little bear
my ardor my enemy
my cold legs clenching
the hard hairy chest
that was his body
under me until
a wall of salt
took us down
in a good clean break
I could feel like a stump
where love had been