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Spring 2007

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Op-Ed

Matthew Hotham

Last Tuesday, the President proclaimed
his right to rape anyone’s mother,
and we spent the afternoon debating
the merits of his proclamation
over biscotti and green tea blends.

On the news, flashing silent above our heads,
whole families walked into the Mississippi,
where Jeff Buckley serenaded them with angelic burbling—
the voice whose Hallelujah broke even God’s heart
and made Him cry out “Lord, Have Mercy!”

In the mountains the trees shredded their treaties
with the timberline. They climbed to high barren cliffs
and threw themselves against resistant rock.
The pine cones ululate for their lost parents
and vow to sprout until they overwhelm the stone.

Our barista scraped the last penny
from the tip jar, said he was buying
a bus ticket to Tuscaloosa,
he left his arteries buried
on a plantation there.

Geraldo broke into the news cast, said he found
a mirror that shows the face of God:
in artist depictions He looked like a dervish,
wheeling around one hideous eye—
or a hurricane viewed via satellite.

And now the mud people are crawling back out of the Mississippi
threshed out by God’s reeling hands.
The corpse of Jeff Buckley has washed ashore and stopped singing,
and as the President dismounts another mother,
we notice, our thumbprints are shaped just like God.