Olympic Bingo

By | 1 May 2020

God is always twenty-five
and I am still alive—
I didn’t die in the taxi,
or in the apartment,
or at the beach that night
where my hunger tore me
out on a silent black rip
to sink like a wasted plum
swallowed by Leviathan.
Between this and a thousand
fires left burning, living
is Olympic bingo.

There are suicide nets
in the shopping centre.

A woman who works
at a sandwich counter
in the basement food court
said she can’t forget the sound
of a human body smashing

into the ground.
The coordinates of impact
are printed on the back
of her tongue, nerve endings

bound to vertebrae that
come when she grinds
into the shape of a cathedral

under brutalist concrete
frescoes. On evenings

that I do not die
I make prayer—skincare

routine, seven steps—a
learned fastidiousness
in atonement for so much
annihilation. They say
hair salons and beauty
are recession-proof;
another Mecca has opened

in the mall. At the altar

I kiss the feet of God’s

memory, light candles
to her Beast. In nightly

benedictions I burn

the temple down—

orange heat in bloom
between me and the mirror

and God’s unlined face.

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