“Sorry Epiphany”, “In the Paddy” and “Fear Souffle”

by Mari Wood

Sorry Epiphany

I'd like to say that the day I quit God

was like a knuckle-sandwich,

a lightening bolt, or a surprise

seizure that tore through my brain. I'd like

to say that the earth shook, shattered,

and birds screamed their shrill cries. I'd like

to say that hurricanes raised hell,

ice caps melted and died.

You would think that an army of angels would have rolled

down from their clouds; tackled and tortured me

in my disbelief. You would think that a beaming Beelzebub

would have slowly crawled from a frothing volcano to find me,

to slither his way to me, to pat me on my broken back.

But in agonizing actuality, losing God was like a slight shuffle

of thoughts; like the smallest change in the wind;

like a soft whisper that you can't really name, but stake

your life on its truth all the same.

The day that I quit God goosebumps like ghosts rippled

across my bare skin. A quick fever pitched and failed.

Faith faded away.

In the Paddy

In the paddy where no one looks

is the stretched silk of a kimono.

He slowly licks his wounds.

He knows how it is;

dreams of tatami nights.

Like a glorious geisha,

they say it is so.

Sunsets and sake;

he fans himself to sleep.

A slow karate flows

through the words of a warrior.

He dries away the smooth sweat

through the movement of his day.

He has studied hard;

the way of things.

Crooked old men,

Sensei says,

are like Siamese cats.

They count the hours until morning,

the days until death.

Fear Souffle

2 cups of stress

and a tablespoon of anxiety.

1 pinch of self-doubt

and a dash of low self-esteem.

Whisk until sobbing,

then cry yourself to sleep.

Check on your panic at 4AM,

Season with a Xanax if needed.

When you wake with red-rimmed eyes

and dread in your heart,

stick a toothpick in your existential crisis

to make sure you're done.

Plate for your pathetic party of one;

paranoia is your guest.

Pairs well with a side of haunting memories

and a glass of aged nightmares.

Serves 1 – 2 therapy sessions.

About the Author

Mari Wood

After experiencing some modest success with the publication of my poetry in my 20's, I walked away from writing for 20 years. This past year, my muse has begun whispering, chattering, then hollering in my ear and she will not let me be silent any longer. I'm enjoying the process and exploration of finding a new writing voice in my poems. Writing again feels like coming home.