Poetry » Terese Coe »



For Stanley

You treated us with humor and the art of repartee.
Survival was a footnote, and no one knew the way.

We wandered off to the Cyclades, the Andes, and the East,
the friendships too keen to be a transitory feast.

We changed, made love, created, and who of us could evade it?
Despite your urban graces, your voice could not betray it.

Out of time and into forever, the longing and the raves,
the ways that you stayed over, the distances, the graves.

Mr. God

Mr. God is from childhood.
Mr. God is to reward you when you’ve been good,
except when he doesn’t. Mr. God
teaches you not to ask
for too much, except for that
sect that chants nam mam bam
and then you can ask for whatever
you want. Mr. God teaches you to be
discreet, especially about sex
and honesty, which is funny. Mr. God
likes us to be self-reliant. But when things
are going really well for you, is there any
harm in saying, “Thank you, Mr. God”?
And when it goes haywire around
the center, are you foolish enough
to waste energy hating God?
It would seem a cautious
optimism is in order, at least
when approaching
death. And things
of the world of death.