“Blessings from the Shrine Pit” by Jeffrey McDaniel.

You stumble in here wearing a blindfold
made out of beer wrappers and ladies’ underwear
with your palms out, swearing you’re looking
for god, but you’re not looking for a deity,
just something to hold onto, something
to get you through the night, a strip of masking tape
to slip over the lips of your demons. You say
you got no faith ’cause you held a pillow one night
and cried into it like it was one of god’s ears,
then got mad the next day ’cause nothing changed,
which was either proof he didn’t exist,
or was treating you like one of his bitches. God

will send you a signal, but it’s your job to see it.
God will meet you half-way, but he’s not
coming to your house and waiting out the front
while you fiddle in front of the mirror. God isn’t easy,
the way the devil is. The devil has hounds
sniffing the air, letting him know when you’re rolling
around in the sheets at three a.m. like a giant blister.
The devil will slither in through an air vent
with a flask of whisky in his sock and an envelope
of nude Polaroids of your ex. The devil
will smile with a mouthful of crack rocks for teeth.
God isn’t like that. You’re not gonna find god

sitting on your sofa with a forty of mouthwash
and a bunch of stubbed-out prayers in the ashtray.
You gotta hit the street and find a god that fits you.
You don’t want one of those gods with wings,
always fluttering around in the clouds like a ballerina.
You’re not one of them pretty people. You need
a god with housemaid knees so when your mind’s
flopping in the gutter he can bend right quick
and snap it up. A god with dirt under the fingernails
so he can dig his hands into that cracked
flowerpot of yours. A god with sunglasses
so he can see you the way you need to be seen.

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