Today's poem is by Dorothy Barresi

The Tarrying Meeting

Thou God Seest Me.
Come to the tarrying meeting.

Come to the tarrying meeting,
we are tired of living here without you

sixty years
swift-running in sunlight and the faithless dark

of Los Angeles, Aimee—
"not so much a lady as a scintillant assault."

Thou God Seest Me.
All the priests have turned state's evidence,

the cops run the streets;
what cemetery angel could pin you down?

What lurid kidnapping
love-nest charade?

Come back in your high-button shoes!
For the junkie anchorites

have lain down with the tanning bed operators.
The transvestites, pre-ops, and go-go boys

hum like struck notes on a tuning fork, waiting:
imagine them
saved. The baby lifted

from the crystal lab floor
leaves a shining trace.

You did not die, I think,
from sleeping pills, but from radiance sickness

and a lack of invitations.
Come back with your Bible and sword. Believing

we are the perfect congregation
to adore the lie you told

dressed in your sailor-girl cape
for which Seconal and supoenas were prescribed.

We're liars, too, lonely and afraid in ways
salvation seems, some days, designed to cure

(on others we are aware that there are many fine
Thai restaurants here).

Thou God Seest Me, you said,
to the Dreamland Boxing Arena.

Thou God Seest Me
to News of the World

like a brain in its lighthouse going around
the deepest apprehension of the self

forgiving the self—
water drawn from that sweet well.

Listen to the voice in the whirlwind, you said,
O, to be in that gladness

in such weather
heaven sends.

Where will you spend your eternity, Sister?
Ours was spent today on the 405

transitioning to the 101
after a landscaper's two-ton

broadsided the 1-800-Autopsy van.
Affordable discrete forensics

with the human touch.
No one knows the real story here. No one ever
gets it.

There is a rumor like a river
paved over

that these expensive hills will turn
their backs on us;

one good wave
washes us away,

the movie deal of our life falls through.
But you drove the stakes of a dust-bowl revival

with your own hands
as though you were, by that magic action reversed,

withdrawing the nails & sealing Jesus' wounds.
If the cripple could rise

and swim to Catalina
under the tidal pull

of your radio hour, if tumors un-cancered
because there cometh one

whose appearance is glory,
and to this end you built a temple in Echo Park

bigger than anything else
that no longer stands there, if you are, like us,

false and true,
saved and screwed at once,

then surely you can heal us, Sister, hurry now
before we disappear.

Copyright © 2006 Dorothy Barresi All rights reserved
from Solo Café
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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