Maybe it is time to forgive God
For the hundreds of women
who have rejected me over the years,
Starting in third grade,
(theoretically, of course,
whether they knew it or not.
And for the one or two who
didn’t, but should have).
I’ve reached the point in life
too late where I
Would actually be of some
use to them,
Could gently walk forward with them without harm,
And be remembered, I trust, with generosity and a little fondness.
But I have reached the age
of their fathers,
And so, instead, have become,
And over there on the coasts, maybe it’s time to give hip irony the
last rites and heave-ho,
And just admit that it is as
empty and useless as
Yet another beer or Viagra
Just look around.
Things really are as bad as they seem.
Weakness in the face of that reality
Is the worst kind of cowardice.
Let’s reconcile ourselves, gird our loins,
And slip on the armor of grudging acceptance,
That one, beautiful, inconsolable truth:
We’ve really fucked some things up.
And then just… hold onto things that are real.
There are things I know with long
familiarity, like my wife’s body,
And things I merely know about, like
A news report out of Oklahoma of
The latest flock of earthquakes I can’t feel.
But still I clutch my devices, stress over
Recharging cables and anxiously, endlessly
Scan notifications of distant and silent things,
Surfing the pings of pretend meaning,
Thinking this is somehow the same as living.
So maybe it is time to forgive God for
Not telling me sooner that a lifetime spent learning
The topography of love by touch and error,
Of that sweet promise and bloom of long-ago youth–
With it’s pains and joys still unexplored, yet oh, so possible–
Was the best that was promised, and given.
So maybe, after it all, it’s time to admit
That in the end, it is not God’s fault:
For all the times I never had the nerve or
What was in front of me all along.