Today's poem is by Michael Meyerhofer

Diagnosing God

I wonder what phobia made God
so surly in that ancient world,

prescribing locusts and brimstone
one day, circumcision the next.

Perhaps a case of teratophobia,
fear of making deformed children,

which my mother did not share
although I fell shy of God's image,

born limp-finned as a boned fish,
and that transgression cost her life.

Or pogonophobia, fear of beards,
manifest when the universe cooled

into billion-mile hairs of starlight.
Scopophobia—why no one may see

the face of God and live, although
too many still pray for such ruin.

Remember that sand-plowed bluff
when Moses asked his name—

I wonder if sesquipedalophobia,
fear of long words, applies as well.

Overcompensation for patroiphobia
could explain those geneologies

but imagine, if you can, the torment
of a divine uranophobe, detesting

the very heavens he presides over.
I could love a god with ecclesiophobia,

for I too have been afraid of churches;
still, as death—that cardiophobe—

unfurls his plans for my demise,
I have better things to do than

sympathize for the one scotophobe
who could flare his darting eyes

in all that insufferable darkness
and purge it with just four words.

Copyright © 2009 Michael Meyerhofer All rights reserved
from Blue Collar Eulogies
Steel Toe Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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