BEATING BALAAM’S ASS
The books are wrong, you know,
and the priests—they’re told only
what to tell the children. Look both
ways, don’t shit where you eat, that
sort of thing. And the children listen.
And I listen. And the priests, they
listen most, their clean heads lowered
in great psalms of listening.
But heaven is a highway in Kansas.
Nothing waits: no commandments
or pearly gates; not a mighty gavel
but merely gravel, mile after loose
mile of it, no other soul in sight.
The geometry of the afterlife: four
corners, a stop sign. The paint on
the sign reflective, easy to read.
The thousand ears of God are ears
of corn, and none of them listen to
the only sound, which is your engine,
your one horse always approaching.
The life you’re leading, being led.
–from Spillway #12