Losing His Religion

with thanks to Meister Eckhart

Michael Schmidt (bio)


He takes up his four bibles,
seeing already the dumpster in the parking lot,
the layers of brown inside like old friends
disliked, inevitable. A door
opens. He wonders if his education brought him here:
maybe Surrealism or Dada replaced his glasses
one night, having found a path of roses
through the walls… the door closes and the 111 degree weather
pounces. The English sparrows divide
the heat. He sees his car in its allotted space,
the neighbor’s, not. Sound of children splashing
in the pool, crying out, lossless. He shifts the weight
of the Good Books to one hand, and with the other
he opens the dumpster’s heavy lid. Summer reclines
on its throne of grime. Flies attend with their one
day, their two. Each toss allows
God to rid him of God. Light
everywhere, heat. His eyes move rapidly,
testing his world. He touches the stucco wall
with both hands, listens
for laughter as mercy’s
twin walks the double
path of his arms to somewhere
near gone.

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