Everyone wants to write about god
but no one wants to imagine their god
as the finger trembling inside a grenade
pin’s ring or the red vine of blood coughed into a child’s palm
while they cradle the head of a dying parent.
Few things are more dangerous than a man
who is capable of dividing himself into several men,
each of them with a unique river of desire
on their tongues. It is also magic to pray for a daughter
and find yourself with an endless march of boys
who all have the smile of a motherfucker who wronged you
and never apologized. No one wants to imagine their god
as the knuckles cracking on a father watching their son
picking a good switch from the tree and certainly
no one wants to imagine their god as the tree.
Enough with the foolishness of hope and how it bruises
the walls of a home where two people sit, stubbornly in love
with the idea of staying. If one must pray, I imagine
it is most worthwhile to pray towards endings.
The only difference between sunsets and funerals
is whether or not a town mistakes the howls
of a crying woman for madness.
Hanif Abdurraqib, "It’s Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All of Those People Were Going to Die." Copyright © 2018 by Hanif Abdurraqib. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow.
Source: PoetryNow (2018)
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By Hanif Abdurraqib