Where is God?
3 June 2006
Where is God? She seems distant, hidden
in the Big Idea, cloaked in the mundane,
kept prisoner in a glass office on Madison Avenue,
packaged and sold, a diety turned to plastic,
prostituted, and then celebrated with hollow
rhetoric, illumina tenebras nostra domina,
and similar b.s. repeated ad infinitum.
It is very scary to be alone walking the dark, empty streets,
late at night, soaking from the dirty rainfall, storefronts boarded up.
Illumina tenebras nostra domina. When the levies break, manifest destiny
will be exposed as a lie, an advertising jingle, for a few days.
But it doesn't last. Inside the mold infested buildings
you can find her looking at her reflection in the mirror
worrying about impending wrinkles and age spots. God
is trapped inside her medicine cabinet, inside her television set,
inside the stack of romance novels on the nightstand next to her bed.
No one ever told her that she could change the world, that she was
changing the world with every moment that she lived and even with her death.
And so she couldn't liberate God, because she couldn't liberate herself.
And so when the flood came, she was still living in the same place,
a short distance from the levies where she had moved years ago
when she had come home to New Orleans to be near her mother,
who was dying of cancer, despite having once promised to never come back.
She had never returned to Boston, where she had briefly taught middle school,
despite talking about doing so until her friends couldn't bear to hear it anymore.
You watched her on the television after the hurricane,
one among many, dress soiled with contaminated water and mud.
You felt pity, curiousity, momentary indifference, then changed the channel.
The television is all heat and light and it is so easy to change the channel.
Illumina tenebras nostra domina. The television is all heat and light and blind.
The television sees nothing. You can watch it from all angles,
and still not know that the woman on the screen,
the imprisoned God in the plastic, in the office towers,
and the wide eyed child begging for her mother,
are, each and every one of them, you.
© 2006, Satya J. Gabriel