The God in Me Salutes the God in Her
I’m training to be a shaman, the secretary said,
and it was the third time in three days I’d heard that word.
Shaman. Where we work, stock brokers
have claimed the word rainmaker.
She believes in fate and omens,
someone to watch over us,
send us signs, make the pain
Her god tells her three times
to buy a house in Bremerton, across the Sound:
First in a dream, second through a friend, third in the paper.
But she would have to take a ferry each day.
Her god doesn’t say anything
about the bankruptcy.
It is the mortgage broker
who tells her she can’t get a loan.
She fluffs auras for extra money, her own
in need of polish, care from kind hands.
She gives me her bleeding pages
because she thinks I am a poet,
sent from her god to bandage wounds.
I am to show her the path to poetry, to words
claimed in one fast breath
chewed in another.
No one ever watched over me,
or I wouldn’t know her pain
so intimately. The gods inside us
were small as sesame seeds,
straining to listen
for the word Namaste.
Or maybe they were big gods, after all—
an array of radio telescopes,
so large only a vast desert could host them.