Theology 101

Somewhere inside you a doe hides
in a canyon black as night,
in a backwood nobody knows.
You can spend a lifetime waiting
for the doe. It wonít show.
That is how you know it is there,
by its failure to appearó
the conspicuous absence of doe.
Itís the ache that never leaves you.
Unlike the doe which would scoot off
in a heartbeat or even sooner.
Because a doe is shiftier than air.
More likely it never emerges.
That way youíll never lose it.
Never lose its absence is what I mean,
which is better than its presence,
more dependable and enduring.
The doe you need is not the doe
you know, but the doe you donít,
and therefore cannot shoot,
being elusive. Not that you could shoot
a doe that wasnít there, even if it was
(if you get my drift).
But the point is you would think
that you had shot it, even if you hadnít.
You would become some kind of religious
fanatic, is what Iím saying,
and end up displaying the doeís rack
above your living room mantle,
even though does donít have racks,
and, moreover, there isnít a mantel
in the world that is big enough
to display one, even if they did
(which they donít) if you get my drift.
Tomorrow weíll talk about the devil.

Richard Schiffman is a writer based in New York, and a former journalist for National Public Radio. He is the author of two biographies: Mother of All, and Sri Ramakrishna, A Prophet For the New Age. His poems have appeared or are upcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Poetry East, The North American Review, Southern Poetry Review, 32 Poems, Rosebud, Valparaiso Poetry Review and many other journals. His ďSpiritual Poetry PortalĒ can be found at: link.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761