Now do I recall
Walking with one hand dragging down the wall
Of a hallway in a midnight hotel in
I had a song in my head that I couldn’t get out and when I stepped in the elevator
Going up The man there in his suit and the lady there in her swimming costume smiled and mentioned that outside the whole world might’ve ended and Sinatra would still be playing in the Sands Hotel and Casino in 1953.
Another man told me Jesus loves me and I said even here and he said even so and when I fell in the bathroom with one hand crooked on the side of the tub, heaving over the edge and fell in like Simeon overboard I thought Jesus might have looked away if he had any dignity.
Does He watch his son’s disagreeable actions?
We certainly do our best to hide them.
I heard the voice of a meretrix in the next room (a shame because she was so goddamned attractive)
Explain why she was closer to God than her pastor, than any pastor
And when I climbed into bed
She sat there too, said
What was the difference between God and a dime-store call girl?
She’ll still be there at the end.
I remember her.
She could laugh until she fell asleep.
She could stay up laughing at the midnight cartoon reruns
Of my childhood and
Ordering deep-fried room service
And she was more real than anything else in all Paradise.
Once I took her shopping in the supermarket and she didn’t step outside the candied aisle
We ate cereal out of the box with our hands in our mouths
And her lips tasted like powdered sugar and
Corn starch and lip gloss.
I haven’t tasted anything more profound,
A Eucharist of modern living, broken, shared out for you and for you and for you
And for many.
In the morning she was gone
And so was my wallet.