When I visited his little grave,
I asked him to return
with me to Pennsylvania–

he came willingly to see
the 21st century up close.
Where else to go

but to a mall? He avoided
the food court, thought he saw
Krishna in fluorescent lighting,

but it was only a reflection
of Super Mario. He vanished
without a goodbye—

I waved, let him go,
the grave clearly livelier
than such a place as this.


When I die I go to Heaven,
a surprise to many, myself
most of all. God hands me
a stick of Black Jack gum. Oh,
it’s good. I chew and chew
until my teeth become angel
swings. Thor climbs onto me,
wiggles his lightning ass. Tickles.
Eternity posts an Out-To-Lunch sign.
Thousands of deciduous trees
grow. Impatient.


Look Jesus, I have a bone to pick
with you. I can’t win since
you’re eternal and mighty
and all, but for years I prayed

Dear Jesus, I ask in your name
that Gary and Roger stop
attacking me in school. AWOL,
you said ask. Don’t give me that

we grow by suffering crap. Grow?
I shrank into a tiny box,
a place to bandage wounds.
Forget that you suffered worse

than I did. I didn’t ask you
to suffer. All those Christmas plays,
me a good shepherd,
a K-Mart towel wrapped

around my head, a tin-foil star
glinting over the baptismal. Maybe
my prayers got routed through Karachi ,
back to Louisville , then poof,

gone. Tell me why I had to turn
the other cheek until I had no cheeks,
no face. Tell me you love me,
but why should I believe you?


Kenneth Pobo won the 2009 poetry chapbook contest from Main Street Rag for his manuscript called Trina and the Sky.  They published it in December 2009.  In April 2010, Philistine Press published his online chapbook called Fitting Parts.  He gardens, listens to Tommy James and the Shondells, and does a radio show on Saturdays from 6-8pm at called Obscure Oldies.


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