CURATED BY RUBEN QUESADA
To demonstrate his undying commitment
to social & economic justice,
the poet prayed to God
to rescind his birth.
And God said, “Your mother—
she will be lonely
And the poet said, “Oh,
mother’ll manage. Somehow
she always does.” And so God
said, “Your brother⎯have you
thought about your brother?”
And the poet said, “My brother
will then have been the first born
& he will know the love
I have always known. ” “And God,”
the poet said, “please,
let’s not say a word, not a friggin’ word
about, you know, my father. ”
So God said, “All right, my son.
But all the poems you have written,
they will have been unwritten.”
And the poet said, “Now, God,
you know as well as I do
that each year more & more landfills
fill with more and more books—
booksbooksbooks and more books ….”
“This is true,” God said.
And so, with this, God waved
his hand. But
all that happened
was that while there was one less
mouth to feed, children still
begat children, children
still stayed out past ten,
doing God knowswhat,
& the continents⎯they still
dipped deep, deeper
into the sea, continents still grew concave
from the collective weight of the morbidly obese,
whole continents still grew convex from the growing number
of the morbidly thin, smoke still rose
& smoke still fell back down to the hand
of the one who pulled the trigger.
There was, however, one less nagging voice
of protest—God noticed this
& God said, “This is good.”
God said, “Yes,
this is very good.”
God Has Alzheimer’s
God has Alzheimer’s
and is tended to by nurses dressed
in the most immaculate, tear-stained white,
their hands washed free of every organism
that is not the organism of love.
It is said, down here, in tabloids
and the like, that God’s forgetfulness
is the reason
the world is in the shape it’s in.
It is said by still others—talking heads
and nagging naysayers all—
that God has been symptomatic
since way back when. Otherwise
why would He have sent
a storm of frogs
or appeared as a burning bush?
Some would even have it
that the heavens and the earth,
that the sea and man and woman
are all of them—if you think about it—
if you really think about it—
products of a mind set free.
Security in heaven
being what it is,
particularly after 9/11,
all this remains hearsay.
The story I like best
is the one
that has Satan
at God’s bedside:
Satan, with a bouquet of red-red roses;
Satan, lucid and crying like a baby;
Satan the lover,
reunited—at last—with his beloved.
Editor's Note: These poems appeared on our old site.
Steven Cordova is the 2012 first-place winner of the International Reginald Shepherd Memorial Poetry Prize. His first full-length poetry collection, Long Distance, appeared in 2010 from Bilingual University Press. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Ruben Quesada is the author of Next Extinct Mammal and Exiled from the Throne of Night. His writing appears in Guernica, Boaat, Rattle, The California Journal of Poetics, The Rumpus, The American Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Superstition Review, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @rubenquesada.