Meeting Pete

Suppose it true: the gate, the saint, the book;
Damned by the book, of course. So there’s a saint
Manning the gate; for going by the book,
The joint would be un-peopled. Can’t have that!
But trust a saint to err the right way.

Looks you up. Process due. His sad old face —
The files he’s read; you won’t shock him; he’s seen
Worse; O so much worse. Still, you squirm a bit.
Because you’re bad enough, God knows. He too.

Reads and his sad old face grows sadder yet;
Every poor sinner more one furrow more
On the immemorial cheek. And did he know
This was the job he’d get, back in the day
On the Galilean shore, so full of bounce?
Knew what the keys meant? This I strongly doubt.
Surprised like all of us.

     The storied keys
Hang at his holy belt: one side all rust,
The other bright with use, as if he turned
One way and not the other, generally.
I feel a bit more cheerful, seeing this —
No bouncer he, and no security
Needs guard henceforth forever. My ID
Superfluous here; they know me all too well.
Which is a somewhat mortifying thought.
I’ll blush aeonically, a Rubens putto
Or putain rather.

     Still the saint reads on.
I would have thought that half a page might do it;
But no; a dossier Omniscience
Only could keep; and there’s no hurry here —
Which seems to me like Paradise enough:
Summer and never more a back to school.
Behind, the continents still shift and shrug;
Empires rise, fall, who gives a shit. Plates slide.
Species die off — my own of course included —
And none too soon. My God, how we fucked up.

But that’s not mine to answer for. My own
Fucked-uppedness our topic here. The Saint
Takes time. Has nothing but.

     Or no, I see it
Now; in fact, he has everything but time;
Eternity to ponder, time forgotten;
No queue behind me, no deserving feet
Shuffling to claim their turn. It’s him and me.
Suddenly, I feel strangely confident.

Leave a Reply