onto the pond
dancing to laws
they couldn’t name
even if the god
that does not exist
descended this moment
and himself commanded
them to speak.
Our son sleeping
nestles in his stroller
animals no doubt
tracking with him
through his dreams
the mud of this day.
When he wakes
he’ll say the story
back to us
bouncing off each other
the way these rowboats would do
if all at once their pilots slept
which in its way
is how we got here
bumped and bonded
released from ourselves
into this hope
this boy this
his own life.
My Son’s Theology
Shahob asks if I believe in God.
I tell him no; he doesn’t ask me why.
Instead, he tells me God is a dust-speck
floating on the wind, watching
and waving, though we can’t see Him.
And God created nothing, Shahob says,
except Himself, but He’s not lonely,
and He’s not sad, so we laugh, picturing God
lounging poolside at some Hollywood
superstar’s house. We don’t discuss God’s gender.
Cool drink in hand—when I ask,
it’s orange juice of course—God’s wearing
precisely the gun-metal-blue sunglasses
Shahob convinced us just last week
to buy him for the beach. He puts them on now—
they’re right next to his bed—
leans back against the wall and waves.
“And if you do notice God is there,”
he says, sitting up straight,
raising his eyebrows and smiling,
“don’t be afraid to say hello,
or give Him a high-five.” Then my son
lifts God’s beverage in the generous welcome
he imagines divinity is and grins,
“Just make sure He raises His hand first.”
My Son Asks Me To Make A Poem from His Dream
I met a man in old and tattered clothes
walking alone along a moonlit road.
His face was black, his beard gray, his load,
the years that bent his back, the heavy blows
of Time’s hard hammer. His right hand gripped
a wooden staff, his left…there was no left.
The stump below his elbow, the scars—he’d been whipped—
marked him as a thief, and I wondered what theft
so old and thin a man could possibly commit
to deserve such torture. Out of respect
I did not speak, but when he passed he spit
at me and vainly tried to stand erect.
The vision ended there. I went to tell
my king, “Repent! Or live a living hell!”