Richard Kenney

Winter 2018

Face East

Palms open, we pray.
Napalm swamp of the sunrise:
Name god again day.


The god is not there.
And still, it casts a shadow,
as in answered prayer.

Another Question For God

Q: Why
are you not more resolutely high-
minded? You jape, you clown . . .

A: I look down.


Re: rain, and the long theological stalemate
concerning its origins, a tale Talmudic

in nuance, Homeric in scope: this was classic Lachrymism
vs. vulgar Micturism, paired like the chromosomes

of our tradition. At stake: the nature of heaven.
At issue: the source of life, in rain. In the event,

the conclusive stroke was dealt by the geochemists,
who by the closing years of the last century had amassed

data demonstrating the identity of rain and tears
to the ninety-seventhth part, in a theorem which survived rigorous peer

review. By contrast, undistilled urine assayed
as correlative only to the sixtieth part, notwithstanding acid

precipitates, adjusted mathematically, allowing for a salt-
correction constant. The question was settled.

Richard Kenney teaches at the University of Washington's marine laboratories in Friday Harbor.

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