Jennifer Met

THE ATHEIST SUITE

 

I. Atheist Is Next To Godliness

 

I am not an atheist in the way most people mean atheist to mean anti-theist—against God—and against church, thinking others gullible, stupid, wrong… Who’s to say?

 

I am, however, an atheist in the denotative sense—without theism, without God.  I am indifferent.  I am indifferent to your God.

 

How when a honey bee buzzes devotion, tries to explain that the queen is everything—the reason he is here—the reason for all he does—gives him life, then gives him purpose—is worth dying for, worth love—this is how I feel when you say “God”—eh, I shrug.  OK

 

laughing by the fire—

an old man

wasting time

 

…but really, who’s to say?

 

II. God Is a Joke, Said the Atheist

 

You say even a non-believer is one of God’s children, made in his image.  I say this is funny.

 

my old man

staring at a lake

laughing at nothing

 

III. Last Impressions

 

When I was a child, my grandparents took me to a mini-golf course.  My favorite hole was a fake graveyard with tombstone obstacles blocking the path to the hole.  One read “Atheist: all dressed up and nowhere to go.”  Why would an atheist even have a tombstone, I wondered.

 

I can’t remember what the other grave markers said.  I can’t remember the name of the course.  I can’t remember my score.  I can’t even remember if my grandparents played with me or not.  But nowhere to go.  This I remember.  For some reason, this is all I remember and will likely carry it to the grave.

 

sitting by the fire

an old man

laughing at nothing

 

IV. Atheist, Agnostic, or Questioning

 

I do remember.  I think the Hindu tombstone at the mini-golf course read “back in five minutes.”  But the others still escape me.  There was at least a Christian one, a Buddhist one, a Judaism one, and a Pagan one.  And I doubt any said a simple “RIP.”

 

wasting time—

an old man laughing

beside the lake

 


Jennifer Met lives in a small town in North Idaho with her husband and children. Her poetry and hybrid nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Stream, Zone 3, Kestrel, Barely South Review, Apeiron Review, Moon City Review, Juked, Sleet Magazine, Haibun Today, The Red Moon Anthology, and elsewhere. Recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize and winner of the Jovanovich Award, she is poetry reader for the Indianola Review.


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