Crystal Meth Under Her Choir Robe

No surprise. Bills to pay, pain to obliterate,
a favor to a friend desperate
for more time before facing facts,
or a reason less beholden to One-day-at-a-time
or I-don’t-know-why or There-is-no-why-
I-just-like-getting-high or Then-Jesus-spoke-to-me
blather. Nothing’s enough, not even the moments
when her voice — any voice, my voice —
vanishes into the Voice the hymn
wrenches from the throats of the spiritual
paupers up there swaying in black satin.
The God of the Garden is the God
of Chemistry, too, a single sniff
in a lifetime proof enough — nothing
can slough errands or heartbreak
so fast into the metaphysical ditch
where all of it belongs. Weren’t we made
for better than the Fall, if Fall this is?
We all see what the Flood keeps doing.
A little while dry, please, a little while
with no chattering chimp between
the ears & the Wizard once more in Oz.
This is my mind, not hers. She’s a story
I heard. I’m a story I can’t stop hearing.
A plastic tarp in a monsoon may be
her future. A plush ride home to havoc.
A vision that delivers her from want,
deserving or not.

More Poems by John Repp