Theodicy with Plastic Plants
Bill Stadick (bio)

It seems to require a lot of dead fish
to settle on a pH. It seems to require
a lot of dead fish to make tap water
mimic the tropics in viable ways.

It seems to require many trips to Wal-Mart
to buy baggie after baggie of them
along with paper-thin food to cast like
pond scum above their heads.

It seems to require only these 24 rosy letters
in my red-letter Authorized Version
for Christ to float the metaphor that haunts this project:
I will make you fishers of men.

It seems to require hundreds of billions of dead
fish for him to prepare a place for us
where the elements will sustain life without end.
And it seems apropos to lament

each dead fish as we mourned the exquisite one
we were obliged to scoop out yesterday,
the one you had named Sunburst,
the one everyone pointed to first.

(For Debbie)

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