Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Keep Your Prayers Coming

A pillowy white beard
in dark sunglasses
hair slicked back
with silver streaks

skipped introductions—
so what do you think
of this latest stunt
with Osama?

This was not
a rhetorical question.
He was waiting
for an answer.
I stammered: I don’t know.

He continued: do you think
Obama is setting up Pakistan;
see two weeks ago them
sold warheads to the
Now if you were the empire
what questions would you ask yourself?

This too
was not rhetorical:
if I was the empire?

Wouldn’t you be wondering
if there were any nuclear warheads
on that receipt? You don’t just
leave an empire. An empire doesn’t just
let countries quit.

His eyebrows raised
he leaned in
closed the distance between us:
I felt his breath
noticed a yellowed streak
in his pale mustache
above an unlit cigarette.

He whispered:
World War 3

Pointed to the door behind him
that I had been walking towards.
That one of them Rapture churches?
I’m looking for a rapture
to get me the hell outta here—
his tongue popped
finger pointed up—
when the bombs start.

Well it’s not one of those churches—
least not in the way you’re thinking.
I’m Jake, what’s your name?

See I started studying these shysters
back in Vietnam—he winked at me
like it was a code word—
I’m glad you still got some sense.
Keep your prayers coming.
We’re gonna need ‘em.

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