Sunday, May 04, 2003


This morning the sky is overcast above the bay. I walk to an Internet café past a number of rundown tour buses; clearly, it’s the end of the four day Labor Day “puente”. Tomorrow it’s back to work for all of us who have been loafing these days away. Raven, on the other hand, has been busy.

Raven, that rascal,
has a new trick up his sleeve:
he is going to
start a business flying
his customers to heaven.

It sounds outrageous,
but he believes it will work.
Who am I to rain
my reservations on his
parade, when he reminds me

that people have shelled
out millions just to pretend
to be astronauts?
Raven is offering more:
A chance to interview God—

To ask Him or Her
the Big Questions: the meaning
of our existence
on this petroleum-cursed
planet; what really wiped out

all those dinosaurs;
if the Chicago Cubs will
win the World Series
before the world ends—the stuff
everyone wants to know, but

is afraid to ask.
And if God doesn’t exist?
Raven doesn’t care:
if there’s a heaven without
God, someone will step forward

and pay him double
for the chance to pretend to
be God—or to take
over up there. After all,
dictators go for a dime

a dozen down here.
Raven is cackling with glee
at his cleverness:
he’ll make himself a fortune
whether he wins or loses.

And the rest of us?
Raven is convinced that we’ll
get what we deserve—
that next we’ll be lining up
to take his charters to hell.

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