I’ve been receiving advertisements asking me to subscribe to the magazine The Sun for quite some time and I’ve always been interested but not quite enough to send in a check. I picked up a copy at the San Francisco airport a few weeks ago and I was pleased to find one of the most enjoyable poems I’ve read in a while. It’s by a poet I’m unfamiliar with, although I do own his poetry handbook Steve Kowit.
Jesus comes back like he said he would: a stand-up kind of guy,
reticent to a fault but rock solid. The shy type everyone likes
bot no one thinks much about one way or the other,
until one evening, during a storm, tooling down I-15
in his beat-up VW vug, he passes one of those awful
two-car wrecks &, pulling to the shoulder, hops out,
strolls past the paramedics & cops, & before they can
think to stop him, kneels into all that shattered glass
by the gurneys & sheets &, with a few incomprehensible words
in a language nobody’s spoken in two thousand years,
coaxes the dead back to life. The little kid
gets back his severed leg, & all that blood on the road
disappears lie a bottle of trick ink. Then everyone starts
waking up. Even the drunk in the Chevy, sober
for once & looking sheepish as hell. Thank God, he thinks,
no one was hurt. Outraged, the cops wrestle Jesus
to the mud, snap on the cuffs, & toss him in the back
of their squad car. But when they’re done helping
the two ladies and the kid to their feet & walk back,
the cufs are on the dashboard & their black K-9 Lab retreiver
is curled in the guy’s lap, Jesus scratching the fellow
behind the ears – something no one’s thought to do
since he was a pup. Listen, you know as well as I
that none of this is true, just a story I made up
about the world we would like to have been born into,
that world where nothing that we love has to die.
But the Lab retriever I was thinking of was real:
our beloved Raymond, who’s been gone now many years,
though I can still see his black tail twitching happily
in his sleep as he’d lie at the foot of our bed, the way he used to.
The Sun is a beautiful magazine with quality content. I think I’ll be subscribing soon. You can find this Kowit poem in Issue 439, July 2012.
*I do not own this poem. Copyright The Sun and Steve Kowit.