John Tustin


At some point, God went out for cigarettes.
He told us He would be right back
and got into His Chevy Nova,
even though it was just a one block walk to the store.
He took Jesus with Him, 
who rode shotgun.

They never came back.

I waited at the window –
jumping at every noise,
every approach of the doorstep.
The authorities were contacted, searches were conducted.

Over the years I have heard about Him
innumerable times. Living here and there,
from hovels to cathedrals
and going from town to town, doing good deeds and bad.
I think it is only legend.
Where’s the proof?

There are these killers and warriors who claim
He is with them,
doing plenty of the killing, side by side.
I doubt he picks up a rifle –
or a shovel or a pen or a hammer, for that matter.
I never saw Him do anything.
When He was here, as I remember it,
He just sat around the house
drinking beer, watching TV and waiting at the mailbox
for his fan letters and pension checks.

God went out for cigarettes.
It was a long time ago.
If he didn’t quit smoking,
I would guess he could have died of cancer by now.
Maybe that’s why he never came back.
I shrugged when I wrote that last sentence.
I care but then, in a way, I don’t.
I mean, it was a long time ago,
like I said.


My neighbor’s cat stops by my condo every day,
often more than once,
and lately he’s been spending nights
sleeping on the edge of my bed.
This afternoon, we took a nap together.
I call him Mr. Biskits and he’s on my lap as I type this.
I never feed him and 
when he has to shit or piss, he just leaves.
He always goes for the door before we get sick of each other.
                 It’s a perfect arrangement,
I say to myself as I close the door behind him.

John Tustin's poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009 and fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home