"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Monday, March 22, 2010

If God is a Company, The Devil Sells Product


Since prayer isn’t feasible, he sings to himself,

of the road and where it leads, of the dust that

kicks up into windshields, of the brake lights

that multiply instantly, and the crosses

off the shoulder. Every night is somewhere new

yet he’s seen it all before. knowing better than anyone,

that there are only twenty people in the world.

And whether or not you believe it, he’s tired,

and wants to take a break.

This is how he pays for what he’s done. He opens,

his magic sample case and shows you what you need,

Sometimes it’s brushes, knives that never need sharpening,

prime steaks, vacuum cleaners, non-stick cookware,

sets of encyclopedias, elixirs or lightning rods.

He doesn’t even know, until he clasps your hand.

and sees by your grip and the look in your eye.

that your kids don’t respect you,

that your wife thinks she settled,

that they took your milk money all those years ago,

and you cried in the dirt by the monkey bars.

You open the door of course.

He can’t read your mind, but why would he have to,

Soon you’re telling stories, He listens, feeds them back.

and now he’s your long lost brother, your kindred spirit

You’ll miss him when he leaves, as you remove

his water glass from the table

You’ll remember the clicks as his case opened up.

and his serious look, as if trusting you, and only you,

with the greatest of secrets; the elusive answer,

what you always wanted but didn’t know you’d missed,

the cure for loneliness, what you should’ve been,

if the mirrors hadn’t been backwards all along.

And, although it’s a shame to give it a price, what you’ve

got in your pocket will do, tonight, and only tonight.

Tomorrow he’ll be shaking hands with someone else,

They’ll open the door, and he’ll sell it again.

because it’s never cost, but value.

the thrill you never had, the friend that won't betray,

the antidote for the thoughts you have when everyone else is asleep.

It’s new, improved, state of the art, and 100% guaranteed,

delivered promptly, completely and discreetly,

balance bill to follow in another thirty days.

He’ll do this forever or until someone doesn’t need it,

whichever comes first.

He sings driving off, a song of forgetting how to get home,

of pulling off to close your eyes for just a minute,

of everything you want being one sale away,

one sale away again…


-Brent Allard

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