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4,256







4,256



If I didn’t love Jesus so much I’d

kill myself and pay Him a visit though

killing myself is suicide and that’s

a sin, suicide I mean--and killing

myself--but anyway sometimes I can’t

wait to see Him even if that means He

sends me to Hell for the ultimate sin,

killing myself that is, suicide that

is--no, the ultimate sin, at Sunday

School Miss Hooker, she’s my teacher, she’s our

teacher I mean, she says that denying





God is the ultimate sin, it’s the most

unforgiveable sin, says she, she says

that it’s the only unforgiveable

sin and she ought to know, she’s got it straight

about the Bible, both parts I mean, Old

and New Testaments, she knows more than

I do but I know enough to know that

both Old and New are prehistoric and

when you go that far back in time who’s



counting? Well, history teachers, maybe,

at regular school but I’m ten years old,

I’m in third grade and for the second time

--I liked it so much the first time through, ha

ha--but seriously, folks, our teachers

there know something about everything we

study so maybe I mean teachers in

a university where the students’

voices have changed and they’re hairy in damp





places mainly that make for babies, don’t

ask me exactly how, some things men aren’t 

meant to know, women too, but it goes down

in the dark and with the doors locked and drapes

across the windows and if the TV is

on it’s not very loud and not football

and most of them drive to school if they don’t

live in a hotel there on campus and

sneak six-packs into their rooms and get drunk



as shit like my Uncle Marcus puts it

but only when he’s righteous-drunk and I’m

not supposed to tell it but I’m not dumb,

just stupid--or do I mean the other

way around--and as for Jesus, I think

it was at a place called Capernaum where

He dropped in on a wedding somehow and

the folks ran out of Mogen David so

He changed the water into wine and you





talk about a pretty neat trick, Uncle

Marcus said that he can change tobacco

into wacky-weed but of course he was

gassed at the time and I only heard him

because Father sent me to bed but I

had to get up to pee a few times since

we had watermelon for dessert and

I’m small for my age, ditto my bladder

--I wonder if Jesus could change it in

-to a hot air balloon, my bladder I mean,

allowing me to float the Hell out of

this place and the answer of course is you



bet your balls, Jesus can do anything

but if I already know that then why

do I tempt the Lord my God, that’s Jesus

and the Father wrapped up in one, like Certs

or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, O

ye of little faith? But ye equals me

and it’s funny how you know the truth and

it’s too damn good to be true so you dis

-believe it, so anyway when I’m dead





though not by my own hand I’ll go to God

to be judged and at least get a little

glimpse of Heaven, not that I’ll get to hang,

God’s likely to send me to Hell instead,

fair’s fair, and since He’s Jesus, too, even

if He’s sitting at the Father’s right hand,

I’ll be able to say (I’ll  try not to

brag) that I’ve finally and truly seen



something, not that I’ll get to come back to

Earth and spread the word, so to speak--I saw

that I and the Father are One and yet

I and the Father had Their own chairs and

maybe whispered One to the Other and

maybe called in the Holy Ghost to help

Them make a tough decision, like whether

leaving Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame





means that the writers will all burn in Hell

as they kick. Me, I’d be merciful, I

would let 'em kill themselves. Who's without  sin?





Gale Acuff









I have had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Poem, Adirondack Review, Coe Review, WorcesterReview, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Arkansas Review, Carolina Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara ReviewSequential Art Narrative in Education, and many other journals. I have authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). 

      I have taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.



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