• Theologicals

    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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