Tuesday, December 18, 2012

poem of the day 12.18.12

religious furor

we seek refuge in union square

seek quiet away from the tourists
who are stopping every block
to get a picture of some manhattan landmark

that’ll probably be under water in fifty years’ time

some sanity away from the thongs
of frat boys and sorority girls dressed
as santa claus and elves

doing a pub crawl
puking stale beer on each other before sundown

ah, new york city at christmas
there are at least a dozen places that i’d rather be

but eating falafel here with my wife is okay too

….until he shows up

we could see him making his way down the line of people

stopping to give his pitch
pushing paper at some poor bastards
seeking the same solace as we

getting closer by the moment

the brave ones wave him away
the other give in and open their wallets
before he hands them one of his fliers

when he gets to us
my wife says no before he can even speak

it could be construed as rude
but unless you live here
you have no right to judge

still, it sets him off

i’m tired of hearing no, he says
that whole other goddamned side of benches told me no

and i’m tired of people bothering me
while i’m eating, my wife say

i ain’t trying to stop you from eating, he says
i just want to give you something to read

we don’t want to read what you got, i tell him

he stares us down
we stare him back

he says i want to tell you about jesus

my wife and i say we don’t care in unison

i tell him that we’re tired of jesus

he says, good, stay down here, you motherfuckers
because heaven don’t want you anyway

then he walks away
another one of god’s angry, rejected messengers

as more tourists lollygag by
getting pictures of the empire state building
peeking over the buildings

as groups of drunken frat boy santas yell
at groups of drunken sorority mrs. claus

shouting “hoes, hoes, hoes,” into the drooping saturday sun

and another poor evergreen
gets dragged through these garbage-laden streets
like a war criminal

prepared to sacrifice itself to bright lights and tinsel

dying ever so slowly
for this festive yuletide season


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