God Likes Hair Salons

I can’t believe God lives outside the house
of earth,
beyond the lawn of stars, and
the fenced-yard universe,
out in the timeless cold, his raw breath,
his radon brow,
ridged, veiling nebular eyes, and his fingers,
freezing as he writes down names in a book,
for later.

Of course God prefers the clamour of pubs,
the company of welders and waitresses,
the warm feel of a beech wood pool cue,
the chatter on wharves and in hair salons,
the dynamo of an adoring daycare,
the oily smell of a machine shop,
with old pin-ups on the wall
above the workbench.

And she enjoys the evenings, by this footpath,
reclining on a red dogwood leaf and watching
the orbital business of planets and moons,
checking their patterns against all the atoms
that hum in the humus down in the hollows.

But in the daylight God disappears,
running here and there,
contending with the desires of people,
shaking with laughter,
then weeping.

Which recalls to her this singular concern:
to keep dancing her crazy cosmic conga
and coax all the broken circles back to love.

So that as we walk this leaf-layered trail,
we would have no fear of ridicule, no fear
of reaching within and raising our hands
against the injustice of hunger,
the machinations of tyrants and puppets,
the hallucinations of the religious right,
the delusions of dead liberals,
the corporate gang-rape of the earth –
owning any hypocrisy of our own
complicity –
no fear of a rising tide of truth,
and the truth of ourselves, obscured
beneath the pallor of our own resentments –
no fear of affection or forgiveness from foes,
unmoved by memes and all the passing
centres of fascination, indifferent
to obscurity, settled in silence,
at peace in solitude –
for by now we must know,
at kidney depth,
in the midst of all this mercy,
that we are divinely liked.