What East Said to West
Uncle Ben does not understand
the ninety-nine shades of lucky.

The shine off his forehead glints
Like your teeth-marked Indian coins.

Poor Sacagawea, single mom
worth only one dolla, cheap cheap.

Ben likes to dance and sing and write
haikus about fried chicken and melon rinds.

He is still trying to rhyme "trust" with "freedom".
it doesn't work, so he prays and tries again.

The goddess of Compassion could help
but Ben prefers Jesus. Silly Ben Ben.

Maybe Jesus isn't listening…
too busy walking on water.

Monkey say, "Let there be"
and Uncle jump in lake

(Trying to give himself a five-minute baptism)

Converted? Uncle Foolish tries to turn white
linen (not silk) into a diaphanous second skin.

Jesus is way out by the horizon
and wet transparency gives way
to a charcoal primer called epidermis.

Poet say: the gown made him drown. Bye bye Ben.

Natasha M. Marin