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I Think It Was an Unknown God or Poet

by Anna Ruiz

I think it was an unknown god
or poet
who climbed into me
when I wasn’t looking or
I was pretending
I wasn’t looking...

Damn him anyway! So very impolite
and so very like him
to barge in unannounced...

But I forgave him,

I thought he might have been Buddha
at first, round-bellied and sloe-eyed,
dreaming me into oblivion, even though
the poet’s breath reeked of cheap wine and

I thought he might have been a Black or Brown
Jesus of the Jersey Shore and I Mary Magdalene of
the working mothers’ clan in my Summerville
ethnic white-skinned village,

Later, when I wore the skin of a white-haired
grandmother, I finally had the guts and glory
to ask him who he was.

No, he was not my Italian lover or my Spanish husband,
or an English patient with fire in his loins,
no, he was not even these words that enter through
my discipleship with the Devil who mocks me still
with my
own eyes,
and tears me inside out,
guts hanging all over his
hammer and nails,

this ungodly truth of all existence —

like Mohammed coming down from the mountain,
as if
the mountain returned
with ten easy words to
quench my thirst with an oasis
serenade, wafting through the silence
like the smell of frankincense and myrrh
cinnamon and chutney,

I sit waiting in the Teahouse of the October Moon,
picking Bukowski from my teeth with a fading,
picture of the last stanza of Anna.

Copyright © 2007 by Anna Ruiz

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