Beating Balaam’s Ass


        Numbers 22:30

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

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