Catching Up With Jesus

I  want to know why, God –

why Papa died when my breasts

began to swell.  Why Jerry Wallace was the only boy

who ever asked me to go steady

and why he only came up to my waist.

I want to know why Toby shot himself

after we necked in his VW bug

and why Dan never believed me

when I told him I was a virgin –

and why I lost it to a tampax in the first place.

I want to know why Eli’s jokes wore thin,

why his heart was blue

and why I loved him anyway.

I want to know why Sam practiced piano on my back

and married Rhoda

and why he still says he should have married me.

I want to know why I wasn’t much older than

Bill’s daughter.  Why the Armenian actor

who gave me creme filled donuts was impotent.

Why Howard and I grew up together

and why that bald magician had lice.

I want to know why Edgar said he didn’t love me

and why I said he didn’t know what love was

and why he thanked me for saying that

and proposed.  I want to know why he screwed

this extra and that apprentice –

why I shot hope for eleven years while he stepped

over me, a pathetic junkie in the doorway of our home.

And I want to know why Sylvie set me free –

why she celebrated my body,

fell into my spirit and merged with my mind

then got cancer and stayed with her roommate of eighteen years.

And I want to know why David is tall and warm and gay.

Why Tony is brave and generous and macho.

I want to know why I sleep with books –

why Ray isn’t real  and Gillian is nothing but trouble.

But mostly, I want to know why the only person

I’ve shared a bed with in so long it’s embarrassing

is my mother.  Are you waiting for me to set a record?

Am I catching up with Jesus?

A perfectly good body is going to waste so I want to know

why I run

why I walk

why I do my voice

and my yoga.

I want to know why I’ve never cheated on anybody

well, maybe once on that stockbroker with the narrow bed

but that was just to find out if I could do it.

And I want to know why, after the world’s longest layover

my body has opened, my heart is on fire

and I have nowhere to put it but onto paper.

Maybe You find that funny – or maybe this is a test

some celestial bet You made with a fallen angel

to see how long I can go on believing it’s good

to be strong

to stay centered

to breathe deeply

and become one with Whatever.

And why do I always wait to be the one who’s asked?

Well, maybe once I didn’t

But why was he an alcoholic?

And why did I grow my hair?

Why did I pierce my ears and re-discover dresses?

Why do I shave my legs and like what I see in the mirror?

In short, God, why am I so divine and so unnecessary?

And why do I even bother to ask You why?

It’s not like You ever say anything.

Is that how You get your jollies?

Oh, no … I remember

You love me more than life itself.

You’re probably sorry You didn’t ask me to marry you, too –

but there are other clams to bake and fish to fry –

other scraps of heartache

struggling with the word Goodbye

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