The oracle of Podunk says that we
are, all of us, ordained priests
From his camp, a ruin, cold
to meet the penitent, requiring at his Friday-evening dispensation of grace,
We were stupid from school once and had the gall to ask him why
and drink like our uncles? And why, if he really could see the future,
held us in its undertow until we were men with secrets of our own.
Sunday, after church, chastened by slow years, I drive down one last time
to the river with fried egg sandwiches in tin foil, a thermos of Smirnoff,
receives my gifts and drifts back to his camp: exactly five minutes each way.
bite into a sandwich, sip the vodka, and with my letter, light the kindling for his fire.
Los Feliz: June, 2005
from the top of the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica pier.
Carey Scott Wilkerson is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Columbus State University. His plays and opera libretti have been performed in the United States and Europe. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous journals.