the last time I spoke to God
I was eight years old and had just
said a final goodbye to
my eighty-seven-year-old great-grandmother
and I was reading books /about stars
and numbers etched on forearms    /about the devil’s arithmetic
alone in my room at bedtime
the walls bulged out and bent in
as the house breathed, and I lay
in its belly looking up at the ribs     /like Jonah
inside of that whale
he tried to run away from God but
I turned and faced him, asked the darkness
how could you
let them kill in your name
allow them to die /in vain     /in numbers unimaginable
/in melting pain
they believed in you, that you
had chosen them for your own next
of kin—yet you saw the lists
and the chimneys and did nothing. didn’t you know
family keeps its promises
no matter the distance?
family’s supposed to love and even
when I try to run away from myself, blood calls
me back and sends postcards sometimes to say hello

but me and God
we haven’t spoken in a long time
since that night
he never got back to me
/now I’ve got the Devil’s number
on speed-dial cause he’s a hell

of a lot easier to reach from this particular corner of the earth

(more…)