My god is a short god. My god wears jeans.
When he swims, he has a lazy breaststroke.
When he gardens, he uses his bare hands.
My god watches reruns of late night talk shows.
My god could levitate but prefers the stairs
and if available, the fireman’s pole. My god
loves bacon. My god’s afraid of sharks.
My god thinks the only way to define a country
is with water. My god thinks eventually,
we will come around on ear candling. My god
spits chaw. My god never flosses.
My god reads Proust. My god never
graduated. He smiles when astronauts reach
zero gravity and say My god, My god.
My god is knitting one very big sweater.
My god is teaching his terrier to beg.
My god didn’t mean for icebergs. My god
didn’t mean for machetes. Sometimes
a sparrow lands in the hands of my god
and he cups it, gently. It never wants to leave
and so, it never notices that even if it tried
my god has too good a grip, my god, my god.
Sandra Beasley won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize for her book Theories of Falling, selected by Marie Howe. Her poems have also been featured on Verse Daily and in the 2005 Best New Poets. Awards include the 2006 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North and fellowships to Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay Colony. She lives in Washington, DC, where she received her MFA from American University and serves on the editorial staff of The American Scholar. (4/2008)