The 2River View 27.3 (Spring 2023)

Steve Fay

belated gratitude

think of how much time the devil has spent chasing me

since i was a toddler
he was around every corner

if i mispoke to my mother
he mightve grabbed me by the penis and pulled me

down the toilet

if i said damn
what i did not know then was his job alone

he mightve reached up
from cracks around the clothesline pole and dragged me

down to hell

how had he time to do anything else but watch me
i wonder now

and how many times must he
have forgiven me for my countless preschool sins

my little boyness
always at risk of such wickedness but left

somehow unsinged

a misfiled report

she is a girl
only one of the magi said on his return

you mean the mother of that king of course

no the baby king
a girl messiah

that is why herods army slew her not
when they caught up to the parents

they slew the donkey though
and feasted on it

and so the family
trod on foot back to nazareth

they say
a long way from there

but the others in your cohort
say it was a boy chimera

they do
it is the expected story

to say a girl
more unbelievable than claiming triplets

but could there have been twins
and only the story of the boy survives

could be yes could be
i saw only the part of it

the other part i heard tell of after i
was sober from the wine

Steve Fay’s poetry has recently appeared in Comstock Review, Hamilton Stone Review, Menacing Hedge, Spoon River Poetry Review, Third Wednesday, and TriQuarterly. His collection, what nature: Poems, was published by Northwestern University Press in 1998.

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