Overnight, someone has epoxied a bright pink dildo
onto the Virgin Mary outside the Sacred Heart Church.
It’s Sunday. From the café window I watch a woman
cover her son’s eyes and make the Sign of the Cross
as they head past the statue’s outstretched arms,
up the steps. A stranger at a neighboring table says,
Worse than the time some asshole in Hopkinton stole
the plastic baby Jesus right out of the manger.
I remember that. A sign in red paint: Shame on you
if you stole Jesus! I saw it on the news at Braintree Station
that Christmas eve. The camera panned a field
of lighted reindeer. Then Mary, palms in prayer at her chest,
and Joseph, on one knee, admiring a basket of snow.
Who wants an eternity of cloud-
to-cloud bouncing, no afternoon
chocolate chip cookie in sight?
I’m against dying.
If I were an orange, I would not have
a very long life, because people
would eat me. So I don’t want
to be an orange.
I raise my hand, ask Sister John
the Baptist, Can you eat cookies
in Heaven? Turns out, you can’t
even bake them.
And reincarnation means you lose
all of your bodies to the forever abyss
of consciousness—so I choose body.
But in death, let me be
ash. Let me be scattered illegally
into the Charles as a riverboat
emerges from the shadows of
the Salt-and-Pepper Bridge.
Let there be a birthday party
on that boat, my hungry selves
swirling in the wind while the song
is sung and the cake is cut.
To a Barracuda
The Patagonian toothfish has nothing
on you—I’d eat him up any day.
That zipper-toothed piranha may share
your itch for ambush and flesh
until he meets the mouth of a river
otter. He’ll settle for an aquarium
life with the occasional blood
worm, goldfish. An alligator,
almost. His dynamo of death roll
rendered vincible by a soft
spot in the skull, quarter-sized.
But you, barracuda—wallflower
ambusher, solitary scavenger
of gut scrap—I never expected
to see you this close. Your sleek steel
sizing up my gear, the silver gleam
of a ring. Your razor and dagger
and needle teeth pointing
me back to shore.
[all poems from The Amoeba Game, Eyewear Publishing]