HUSK 1.3

Poem for the End of the World

by Laurie Rosenblatt

Consider the mathematics. Four men and a priest.
Three placards leaning against an old Ford.

I jive through the pack of them my female spunk
sullying their halo of holy weather. Hail Mary Full of Grace
a bubble in the ear canal I’ll only shake loose

by jumping on one leg like Jello on a pogo-stick. O Lord
forgive me the sin of desiring to bump
the big one with the moist fat lips into rush-hour traffic.

And, Lord. While I’ve got your attention, please have mercy
on the priest, his nice eyes and broad shoulders. And thank you
for this moment of Grace

when the brisk breeze pulls his robes tight against his loins.
I know it’s been longer than
a whale’s dick since my last confession. I’m sorry Lord.

But only You know why my nine-year old self asked mom
about pricks and lips after Father Frank offered me
a few bucks. Money I put in Your basket at Sunday Mass.

Where was I? Oh yeah. For their misuse, my Lord,
of that tiny pink astronaut anchored by her blue umbilical cord,
for their putting her picture on a cardboard poster

like an ad for peeled red grapes with seeds, let each
of these men return to this fine earth
as a girl knocked-up at fifteen by her totally gross step-daddy

who tells everyone she’s a tease so she runs scared
and stops to ask some men like these about a sign
like this one here that promises cash

to raise a child like the one on the sign
and they do give her almost enough to cover
a pair of slippers at the discount outlet up the block.

Please let each of these men standing before, behind, around
me return as a girl like that. Or maybe

You’d grant me instead a mind in balance that I may stop
to shoot the bull, seeking peace
in any blade of common ground? For instance,

I might start by asking, “How do you guys know
the mind of God?” then feint toward the clinic door.
Our Father who art in heaven! This young priest smiles like sunrise!

My mouth smiles back because, as I’ve said,
he’s young and sort of cute and I’m originally from Ohio
thus don’t make a scenes in public, so I just say

“Pride is a Mortal Sin, you fucking bastard,” and
“Who made you the shit eating boss of my body!”
In a voice, forgive me, a bit louder than I’d intended.

[The first line of this poem, “Consider the mathematics,” comes from poet Matthew Olzmann.]