Today's poem is by Kent Shaw

This Is What It Feels Like When I'm Telling the Truth

There were all these nickels that had to be put in one part of the little town
where the parable happened.
I had no idea where they were. But I knew it had to be true.
That's why I was going to believe it.

I'm telling you the truth. This town is always sneaking behind my back.
I didn't start calling it Nickel, but the parable makes some allusion to the fact
that a man could be named Nickel.

What's so complicated about believing the truth? A parable is a story built out of stilts,
like house stilts without a house on top of it.
And the people say it's about as useful as a nickel to make stories like that.
And I'm like, Don't I know. They're that easier to believe then.

Like roller coasters are easy when you're going down the first hill,
and I don't even know what I'm believing right then. I'm on a roller coaster.
And God, it's something.

Everyone else thinks cynical is making them smart. Big deal. I see you all
inside while I'm just starting my story. I guess there's more useful in sofas or dinnerware
or small talk before you start with the hors d'oeurves.
Meanwhile I'm making culture all up in this,
and it's swarming like yellow jackets sowing honey in the carcass of an animal.
Wait a second. Yellow jackets don't even make honey!

When the æons come down from their high heavens,
when the millionths of decimals settle into a great imaginary number,
when the edges of everything just gather at my feet,
like the pictures of lions sleeping at the foot of Jesus, holding the little children,
I will summon. And my parable will be of the wolves.
My heart will be wolves, devouring wolves, impatient wolves, conspicuous wolves
with diecast nickels in their eyes,
and they will finally bring this story to the most unpleasant ending.

Copyright © 2012 Kent Shaw All rights reserved
from Pleiades
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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