Tom C. Hunley


Taping my thigh and calf together
at the knee, I contemplate taking
my children to Scotch Tape World,
where stars fall from the sky
like posters from my office door, where
the tires could fly off our car at
any moment.  It's time they learn
that life is like that, that Disney lies
in the way of a true education.  God
never lies but I suspect Him of
cheating.  Why else would He have to
erase all the blackboards on which we
are math problems and incorrect sums
next to childish drawings of the teacher
without clothes?  Our prayers go to
Heaven but first they go through
Scotch Tape World.  Torn in transport,
they're pieced back together and presented
to God, who receives them as music
rather than as words.  Holding your breath
waiting for people to be decent is one way
to go to God, who loves us just as He loves
the notes that David's harp wrote to Him.
Low clouds overhead seem to come
apart as if held together by cheap Scotch
Tape. Such a pointless death, like the one
suffered by my first car, not to mention
Kenneth Patchen, who wrote "The animal
I wanted couldn't get into the world" and
other lines penned, as Valery said, "by someone
other than the poet to someone other than
the reader."  Our prayers might be missives
from someone other than us to someone
other than God.  Behind my beard is a face
that's different from the one my wife fell in
love with years ago.  Behind any given joke
is the funk that made us look for
laughter.  If you don't know what I mean,
you'll wake up one day knowing.  You'll
look up and see sunlight hitting a mountain
so hard they both seem ready to shatter.