jesus meditation

you meet jesus in a parking lot.
he is pushing a shopping cart with 
a whirly wheel & asks you to get inside.
in sunday school, they did these things 
all the time. turned off the lights
& told us to meet him by a river
or in a lush garden. you're not
going to find jesus there. jesus eats
canned tomatoes. his shoes are worn through.
he tastes like pavement. converses mostly
with forlorn pigeons & collects lucky pennies.
he's no longer interested in greenery.
then, they would tell us to tell jesus 
what we were grateful for. i never
followed the instructions. 
i told jesus nothing at all. 
he would get up & leave my meditation 
& let me to scribble 
in my own void space. 
i populated my garden-forest with 
girls & boys i'd want to kiss. drank
from a honey river. jesus folded all his
old utopias into thirds to slip
into his back pocket. there's none left
even to meditate to. you can now
tell jesus what you don't believe in:
demons, eternity, money, teeth, & so on.
he will nod as he pushes you along.
the world will lay on its back.
together you will feed ducks
by the creek. he will tell you 
he has been struggling with doubt.
you will tell him you have been too.
now you can tell jesus what sins 
you hope to commit before you die
& he will nod, sometimes interjecting 
"me too, me too." the older i am
the less i want in a god. you can tell him
your dreams abundance if you feel ready.
tell him what the world lacks & feel
that distance like a looming melon.
you walk so long your soles wear down too.
all the world is told in foot fall. 
light late spring rain. a trash can 
full of paper fans. a dumpster smelling
like oil. the alley way of the alley way.
i used to try to pray but i could only
do it for other people. i made lists
of people i wanted jesus to keep safe 
but protection doesn't work like that.
jesus will tell you he often doesn't even know
how to protect himself. smokes a cigarette
& taps the ash off on the handle. 
you climb out of the shopping cart 
& before you go you ask jesus if he wants
to get inside. the meditations in sunday school
always ended with an instruction
to make promises to jesus--tell him
how you were going to do better. you should make
no promises to gods. instead you should
tell jesus what you wish for yourself.
he will go sit again on a wayward bench 
with the pigeons & say, "yes. yes. yes."
when you leave wave goodbye
from across the street. don't open your eyes.
don't picture the garden or the trees. 

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