HOWIE GOOD

Letters to God

As you might expect, I get a great deal of mail. The majority comes from people pleading for special favors. They plead for a cure for their hemorrhoids, for loans without collateral, for the return of lost love. Others just want to know why. Why car bombings? Why famine? Why birth defects? Why, why, why. Sometimes children send bright, messy crayon drawings. In this one, I am looking down from fluffy clouds on a stick figure family, while in that one, I am flying like a caped superhero, the ground below inexplicably defined by orange tiger stripes. I never reply. Never. It would ruin my reputational standing.

Apostasy

I didn’t want theory. I wanted a mission. I don’t care what the police say now. I was willing to wear a wire and set pedophile priests up. Previously I tried working with numbers. I was trying to figure out the mathematics that went into cathedrals, but I never could. I was scarecrow thin and often freezing, and without realizing it I was moving away rather than moving toward something. I can’t be sure if I’ll ever return. There are times I find myself staring at the back of people’s heads on the bus with just so much gratitude.

The Bad News First

Every morning there were dumpsters full of newborn babies. Every evening there was one brown shoe at the side of the road – with, some said, a foot still in it, tapping. I developed a theory that we were all just the debris of a distant explosion. By then I knew no one was coming to save me. Even the letter carrier would regularly ask for proof I was who I was before handing me my mail. As I took my driver’s license out of my wallet, little white spiders would fall from somewhere and melt like snowflakes in her hair.

© Howie Good 2020

Howie Good’s latest full-length poetry collection, Gun Metal Sky, is due in early 2021 from Thirty West Publishing.