(published in The Sun Magazine, 2011)
by Brian Doyle
On West Stark Street,
In the City of Portland,
In the State of Oregon,
I tell you about your boy Jesus,
A thin man says to me one day.
Jew-boy. You people forget that.
He Jewish through and through.
His religion born a talking bush.
Come on now, the bush burning
And God talking out the bushes!
Come on now. Some guy dream
That one up, you know that true.
Come on now, Jesus saving you!
Come on, he long dead and gone.
He not save you from whatever.
Save you from truck hitting you?
I don’t think so. From the police?
I don’t think so. From the tax man?
Buddha not saving us all either,
Not Mohammed, not the Shiva,
Not Martin Luther King neither.
Man, no one save you. You save
You. That the way it always was,
That the way it always shall be.
This the part where I say amen.
You say it too, man, y’all say,
Amen, to that brother. Amen!