Idolatry

A poem on idolatry and repentance…


I stopped in silence on the corner,

Marveling,

As I watched Superman stumble out of the bar,

His eyes emptied of their stars and stuttering

With six glasses of Kryptonite.

 

He swung his strong arm around the street lamp,

Guffawed a wet vomit on the sidewalk,

Then hacked his spit back through his nose to burn his lungs.

 

Passers by halted as he threw up again,

His x-ray vision malfunctioning, now

A sterile gaze frantic for the trash bin.

 

With his left hand, he clumsily groped for his red cape

To wipe the mealy puke from his lips,

And the ladies on the corner softly covered their own mouths in shame.

 

We noticed his look had lost that Clark Kent cut,

The sharp and dapper face of a hero, and his cheekbones,

Once formed by flight,

Now stubbled lazily as his dingy suit glinted in the moonlight.

 

But as he bent over the trash can to ready himself for more wrenching,

I knew then what I must do,

What we all must do.

 

The crowd stared as I wrapped my arms around his neck,

Hugged our feeble god,

And pulled his cape knot tight against his throat

With all my evening strength.

 

One by one the audience faded away,

Abandoning the suffocating drunkard,

Bearing the startling truth that

We lose the things we idolize

And must choke the things we cherish most.

My Daughter Speaks with Thunder

This is a poem dedicated to my daughter Julianna, the girl who says hello to the thunder:


My daughter speaks with thunder,

Letting go of a thousand wishes drawn from her little well,

Lips stirred by the sweeping spells of starlight,

A congregation of electric clouds clapping the chorus,

Humming hymns.

 

When lightning rips the violet sky,

Like mice scratching faster than traps,

Cheese in cheek,

My child betrays her young lungs with the fragile yell

Of determined humans,

Daring to harmonize with the heavens.

 

She smiles and dances to me,

The harps in her throat still laughing with song,

When her hands outstretch to unveil

A dozen little berries,

Dizzy from the sugar they’ve drunk,

And I see the glory of this gummy communion,

As my daughter chomps on her backyard treasure,

Barrels her hellos to the evening,

And God the Father belly laughs

A shower of rain in response.