Saturday, October 17, 2020

Hungry Ghost Fugue

It looks like somewhere that gets snow.
It feels like a high canyon town,
Everything crowded on one street,
The mountains nothing but shadows.

No snow here now, just some moonlight
And the neon of one bar sign
Contented to silver the street,
House windows and parked cars all dark.

But I need to ask you something.
How did we get here? If you’re here
At all, then I must be here, too.
Some part of me at least exists

And is sitting in a parked car
With the engine running, looking
At this dark, unfamiliar town
At night, with no one else around.

If you’re with me, can you help me?
Look, I’ll even give you a name.
How about I give you my name?
I don’t think I cared much for it—

It was one of those names that was
Also a common noun, a word
That didn’t have a good nickname . . .
No, I can’t. I can’t remember.

I’ll call you . . . God, I don’t know what.
Ok, then. Let’s just call you God.
I know you’re not, but here’s the thing—
It’s not too weird to talk to God.

If I’m caught mumbling, if I’m asked,
I can say that I’m just praying.
Talking to someone with a name
Who isn’t there is too troubling

And could get me into trouble,
Unless it’s God. God is okay.
Jesus isn’t too bad, either,
But God’s safer, more generic.

Ok, God. What should we do here?
You’re not hungry. I know you’re not.
But I’m starving and town is shut.
Which window looks like it has soul?

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