The Conversion of Wally Walters by Arturo Desimone

Betraying my Hebrew lesson, enraging old Elijahu
I looked upon a bronze Ethiopian
cross, it contained a hundred other crosses
and an optical illusion, as if the crucifix whirled
in concentric circles.
”Copernicus was an Aethiopian!” where did I hear
that Shibboleth? Not in Nazareth?
A theory that would Please
Crazed old men with toothy grin and matted hair thought significant
would respond to my Shibboleth, adding something or other
about Nazareth, maybe their color
(perhaps one rasta got really original or rhymed)
singing, smoking and most of all, muttering
from their night-perches, half-snoozing and spectral blacks on the curb
to sleep by sunup, dawn is dragged by a garbage truck
like the body of Achilles’ concubine
The writing of this by hand is a mistake, but
Erroneous is the name of a saint
who did not make it on time to the canonization,
never on time, owning a different, Ethiopique time-piece
What is MY hand in all of this, what lies
at stake?

The hierophant Henry Walters
thought he was buying an Egyptian cross for his renown collection,
the smiling, hairless and toothless trader gypped him
Wally Walters, his son, uncovered the scandal,
with the tools provided by science and technique of their day
for testing veracity of relics and Dinari immemorial.
Wally Walters lifted his blue-stained forensic-powered thumb,
Concluding
…………….its a Wall-eat-wall world of altars
Ethiopian crucifixes weigh a ton yet contain
a whirl-eat-whirl optic dance,
And life’s a
…………………Copt!

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An Accountant by Joan Mcnerny

He could

calculate

the secrets

of ciphers

grabbling with

white ledgers

and tight rows

of numbers.

Who else would

appreciate the

eloquence of one?

This fat place maker

known as zero? Why

mystics marveled

at the holy seven?

While he slept his

dreams multiplied.

Suddenly long division

subtracted an unknown

quantity yet sums still

added up.

Where had his equations wandered?

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Reincarnation by Michael Lee Johnson

Next life I will be a little higher on the pecking order.

No longer a dishwasher at the House of Pancakes,

or Ricky’s All Day Grill, or Sunday night small dog thief.

I will evolve into the Prince of Bullfrogs, crickets don’t bother,

swamp flies don’t bother me-I eat them. Alligators I avoid.

I urinate on lily pads mate across borders, continents at will.

Someone else from India can wash my dishes locally for me.

Forward all complaints to that religious office of Indian affairs.

A Horse Runs by James Jackson

a horse runs
on a long treadmill

at first we say this
is not normal

but the horse runs
on the long treadmill

long enough
we normalize it

there’s that horse
running

on the long
treadmill

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