I Let Love In

When they were together she thought it God’s punishment.
When he left she thought it God’s punishment.
 
When vermin overrun the city’s boardinghouses
and highrises it’s God sticking a hose
into the Devil’s hole to flood him out.
 
And when the floodwaters rose,
where was everyone?
 
When fog risen from the lake assimilates varietals
of exhaust, evolves through the financial district, renders toxic
the neighbourhoods, swells over suburbs, the Devil
has forsaken another project, saying sometimes
I can’t fucking concentrate on anything.
 
He says he does what he does sometimes because
the Devil gets in like water through his weak places.
 
When it rains like now the Devil yells at God
I’ve told you not to call me that. When it rains like now.
And every time God laughs at this
 
roofs lift off along the Eastern Seaboard. The Eastern Seaboard
will never understand.
 
When we are broken, to whom are we opened?
 
God’s taken all the fish home to live with him, honey.
 
And when the earth shakes that’s God rearranging furniture
not a bomb in the subway like we thought.
 
If you feel the Devil with you, he is there.
If you think God has abandoned you,
you are abandoned, his attention
 
on the World Series, more important than any one man,
smiting the hell out of the Rangers’ big bats as the Giants
lift fingers to the sky in praise and the ordnance
deployed in his name, in making straight the way,
would fill the oceans.
 
And each foreclosure is a failure of belief,
each immortal jellyfish a failure of belief.
 
When those who will ruin us are elected,
where is everyone?
 
And when I return from the desert it’s with the Devil
cast out. With God cast out. Because it wasn’t really me
 
who did those things before, that wasn’t me.

Karen Solie, "I Let Love In" from The Road In Is Not The Same Road Out. Copyright © 2015 by Karen Solie. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. http://us.macmillian.com/fsg
Source: The Road In Is Not The Same Road Out (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015)
More Poems by Karen Solie