Between a puff of cannabised air and sips of carbonized swill,
the old man dropped an inquisition:
Church for you anymore?
As if he half knew, half winked, half didn’t care, half thought me
half gone and what’s the point. But the grey grass is
a sometimes seed for better thoughts, so I
waked to buzzed reflection:
I’d beg at the altar, if I
knew nothing much more than begging—I said.
Slip down the khaki’d knee you gave me and crumble
What did they say I’d say? Please God, I’ve wronged
you somehow, probably. You’d know better than me.
Oh, I’d say things the First-And-Always likes to
hear strum the sitar of the skies: deferences and
duties litanized, chants strung up from sin.
And what-if-eyes shelled shut from
blindness like the cartoon beggar in the Book,
or the leg on which I walk
were rotten? I’ve got it good, I puffed to Dad.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Probably, because I’ve slept with so many
He nodded, asking for a hit.
I know, he said, confessing.
I was the same once. Still am I guess.
Made to be.
And with the same wiry digits he pretend to pray, his hands
returned the joint, swirled with incense.