He looked like Jesus.
The Son Himself, standing in the laundromat.
Maroon beret, red wool turtleneck,
dark jeans, birkenstocks.
Purple granny glasses.
Snappy beard, trim like you’d expect
Mary’s toenails to be.
Clothes wrestling in the dryer with the pants-
a clear winner in the next two rounds.
For twenty-two minutes he explained to me
the nature of man and thought,
“Listen,” he said. “Listen,” and his teeth were brown
under the influence of decay.
“Listen,” and I was listening, “you can’t- y’know, life man.
Life is this crazy cosmic whirlwind, it’s like- life is-
Damnit.” He took a breath, popped something blue
and round as my thumbnail behind those ochre teeth. “Sorry.
What? Life. Right. Life is like a duck, right? Imagine
a big yellow duck. But it’s huge. And it floats. That’s what life is.
Life is a big yellow duck. Or orange. Not green, I mean,
obviously.” Obviously. “Green- that’s just retarded. Green isn’t the point.
Even though grass has a point. Grass is green. You can smoke
some grass, y’know? Can’t smoke, like, lawn grass. But
some grass. The good shit. Even been to Jamaica?”
No, sorry, oh Host of Hosts, I haven’t.
“Bummer. What was I saying? Anyway. Green, it’s not green. The…thing.”
” Anyway, life’s a big fucking yellow duck, that’s the point.”
I watched that obscene yellow banana hammock going ’round and ’round against the glass.
It was a train wreck in microcosm, a perfectly perverse thrill of repulsion
trilling through me every time it rolled around again, as if I were
expecting some other indecency coming out in the wash.
Jesus gathered his clothes when the in-machine referee rang the bell,
went back to the dorms, and left me
wondering what the fuck just happened
because, life’s a big fucking yellow duck
I know I’m going to go to hell now
because everytime I walk
into the Church of the Sacred Heart
there’s this big fucking duck distracting me from my prayers
hiding in the corner of my eye
and then I’m wondering what Christ is really
wearing under that swaddle of cloth.
What’s worse is
now that I think on it
Maybe it was the Devil I met that night
the devil in disguise
and he just got his hands on a bad batch of
and then I feel a bit of sympathy for Lucifer
life’s a big fucking yellow duck, right?
and the Devil’s doing laundry at two AM.