God, God

God, God

 

We dressed for church. I had a white hat

and white gloves when I was fifteen, no joke.

You had to do that to show God you cared.

 

God’s eyes were stained glass, and his voice

was pipe organ. He was immortal, invisible,

while my panty-hose itched and my atheist

 

father chewed his tongue and threatened to run

out the door but didn’t for my mother’s sake,

and she swallowed her fate, this marriage,

 

like a communion cracker, and my brain-

damaged brother lurched around the church

nursery, and my sweeter sister watched me

 

with huge brown eyes to see what I’d do next.

My God, why did I turn my eyes upward when

we were all there, then, in the flesh? I am so

 

sorry about God, sorry we fastened that word

to the sky. God’s not even legal in Hebrew.

If you get the vowel caught between the two

 

consonants of your lips, it can carry you

dangerously up like a balloon over what you’d

give anything to be in the middle of, now.