Contents - This Great Society - Issue 5, Mythology - December 2009/January 2010
Creative Writing
Illustration by Alma Visscher
Micah Towery
Illustration by Alma Visscher

The priests were out in Manhattan today.
They were dealing in the economics
of subsitutionary atonement,
they were holistic healing on buses,
chattering on Blackberries,
    catching the free fall
human spirits in their parachute cassocks.

The streets were spilled with the left-
over vacated wine.
Woody Allen was trying to find a parking spot
for his cross.
And I was busy writing this confession
of neglect.
I was busy staring
at the naked mannequins—
not a sin, but still I’m guilty.

I asked a priest for a blessing, and
Why do good things happen to bad people?
How do I do penance for a parking ticket?
When will pigeons quit smoking? Don’t they know
it’s bad for God’s creation?

The priest said, I don’t know
and I don’t want to say we have
only a certain number of breaths to breathe,
but for God outside of time,
it certainly seems that way.

* * *

And since it’s all
make believe anyhow,

what did St. Kevin do with his blackbird?
Because I’ve had several birds

try and nest on me, in my beard,
and trying to make them leave

was like catching my hand
in barbed wire…


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