VI. Wisdom: The Voice of God
Ninety percent of what’s wrong with you
could be cured with a hot bath,
says God through the manhole covers,
but you want magic, to win
the lottery you never bought a ticket for.
(Tenderly, the monks chant,
embrace the suffering.) The voice never
panders, offers no five-year plan,
no long-term solution, no edicts from a cloudy
white beard hooked over ears.
It is small and fond and local. Don’t look for
your initials in the geese honking
overhead or to see through the glass even
darkly. It says the most obvious shit,
i.e. Put down that gun, you need a sandwich.
Mary Karr is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University. This poem comes from her book Tropic of Squalor (New York: HarperCollins, 2018).
Dan Clendenin: firstname.lastname@example.org