God exists, and if God exists, therefore God exists.
Syllogistic conclusion, conclusive.
A mother dies—a few minutes after, a chime
on the porch chimes. “It’s mother saying, ‘All
is okay. I’ve passed over.’” Her son, a nonbeliever,
succumbs. He reiterates: “Yes, it’s mom,” he says
to his grieving siblings. And then catches
Sand flows upward in an hour glass,
is contagious. Mystery codified is
It’s evolutionary, the son concludes, rather than
mystery. Mystery is hopeless. Nonmystery
Humans do not accept.
There are no atheists in foxholes, goes
the cliché. That there are foxholes at all
is indisputable, unquestionable: Foxholes exists,
and if foxholes exist, therefore foxholes exist.
Can a foxhole be unproved?
We are born blank, then quickly
swathed. To be seeded human is to be
seeded unhuman, inhuman. There are
no starting points for the individual. One must
flow upward first, like the sand in the hour glass,
but we know sand does not flow upward.
Hope springs eternal . . . hmm . . . . We do not
to interfere with tradition, wrote Orwell . . .
somewhere. And if there are no facts,
merely observations? Tradition binds,
questions do not.
Mankind seeks indefinite life. Why?
A crocodile doesn’t. How many angels can
dance on the head of a pin?
But are there angels?
There are pins, so there must be angels.
I, too, am susceptible. I, too, am afraid.
People obliterated in wars, floods,
they must go somewhere. Life cannot
be so dismissive.
I watch a gaggle of
Muslin girls—shopping for clothes.
They’re amazingly innocent. But
they stick together. They’re
duplicates, triplicates, and so on: protected.
Like the Hasidim
in their black suits in 90-degree weather,
the Catholic clergy in their gold wrappings.
Buddha in his belly. All’s right with the world.
Evolution, the son says. What has
evolved? Fear? Can it be that simple?
And if it is that simple?
I can get by, but I knock on wood . . .
What else can I do?
Imitation. No, not despair.
Imitation. We are solitary but
of a species. And we know it. But that,
too, is mythologized: It’s a punishment
to be human, damnation . . . psychosis