10.4 (Summer 2006)
      The 2River View    Authors  •  Poems  •  PDF  •  2RV Past Issues  •  2River




Mike Coughlin


In Mid Sentence

and me nursing a fat lip.
and you sucking on a slice of watermelon.
and B.B. King on the radio.
and us in your grandmother’s convertible.
and the North River slicing in and out
          of thick August woods.
and the glove compartment full of Dexatrim
          and cotton swabs.
and a suitcase crammed with road maps
          and motel towels.
and a cocktail napkin covered with people
          to look up in Chicago.
and Amtrak tickets sticking out of
          your J.C. Penny purse.
and my wallet holding less than
          one-week's pay.
and the sweet love of Jesus
          dangling on a wooden crucifix
          from our rearview mirror.


Prayer For An El Salvadorian Wedding

(Winters, California)

Something tells me
that the man on the wooden cross
of the Holy Mission Church,
the Mexi-Cali Jesus, is a purer spirit,
a harder working savior,
than the ghost who governed the altar
of my boyhood New England parish.

And something also tells me
(as the mariachi trumpets fill-up
this 1912 chapel) that this is the sacred house
in which the Messiah of the Revelations
will return:

And He shall tear open the flesh of the earth.
And He shall raise the bones of the dead.
And He shall pour God’s fury in the mouths
          of beasts and false prophets…

And just as the guitars and violins
of these men dressed in black
burst forth with the rhythm
of a ruined third-world, the re-conquering
Christ will reclaim His kingdom
screaming pure and bloody murder
at what’s been done
in His blessed name


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