at a dirty intersection
on the south side of the city,
a street preacher gave an unsolicited sermon
to a flock of motorist
stuck at a red light.
A chubby bodega owner,
stepped out of his store for a smoke
and saw the pastor in the passing lane,
the holy motor mouth
hollering an oral tradition while no one listened.
The witch doctor
– hand shaking, eyes wild –
pointed to a hanging traffic light as it changed color like a celestial body in transition.
He imagined himself standing atop a temple during an eclipse of the moon.
As mathematician magician,
He calculated the arithmetic written within women’s partially hidden tattoos. And
He absolved the sins of the men speeding off to indulge in the sweetest taboos.
the mail lady,
(the one who doesn’t take any shit
from boys who pop wheelies on bikes without brakes)
that mail lady,
had her earphones in, her Sade turned up,
and she watched the mangy magi king from afar as
He read over his hands like tablets of stone.
A commandment for each finger, unrolling them like scrolls
He mumbled to himself and froze. Then,
He dug one of his commandments two knuckles deep up his nose
and caught her watching.
In a flash of embarrassment she averted her eyes
and he belting out a laugh that clanged through his teeth like a wind chime.
God has a sense of humor and
He is the stand-up comedian,
spinning in the median
He is a whirling Dervish,
He is a theoretical physicist with stains on his shirts and
his research suggests this reality only scratches the surface.
Two weeks ago
before a really important rush hour performance,
the ragtag rabbi found something living in his beard.
He plucked it out, looked at its pitiful, little body and
He told the insect that
He too is just a bug living in the beard of something greater, something unimaginable.
What mercy and grace that supreme being has shown him…
Then he opened his mouth and threw the bug in.
He was wearing a silly hat
He said he stole from the pope.
These streets make up his Vatican, you know.
He is the Bishop of Roam
He holds Mass for the masses
He stretches into downward facing dog as he picks through the trash
He is an Indian guru covered in ashes,
Franklin Street is the Ganges, he washes his socks in it.
His hands are filthy but so are yours.
He says we are all tainted, we are all violent
especially when it is so easy to be violent,
like when you want to murder the driver in front of you,
who suddenly stops and double parks in the middle of traffic
even though there is plenty of space to pull over
but they don’t care if you have to be up and back in this shit at 8 in the morning,
and you just want to be in bed already.
The holy motor sees you.
He reads your lips as
He stands in his pajamas, saying his prayers aloud on the corner.
If you roll down your window, you can hear him
say that souls are only here to carry dreams through time.
We are all just mail ladies, delivering handwritten hopes.
to street addresses written as dates yet to have pass.
an infant barely old enough to understand what happened,
watched the holy motor grab a discarded bottle out of the street and chug what remained, then
tossed it back into the cosmos from which it came.
He is the patron saint of the rotten, of the forgotten, of wasted food discarded by the thoughtless,
a beggar, a pauper, il papa, a prophet,
a one-man choir shaking tambourines made of the quarters and dimes
that tithers give out of pity from time to time,
a sight to be seen, an urban visionary no bother that
He is nearly blind.
He peers into the eternity and saw divinity in the child’s eyes.
tonight people lose themselves looking down into their phones
He finds himself looking up towards home,
his body is his sole possession,
a holy soul possess him, meditation mistaken for obsession,
let him pray for you,
let him scare the devil out of you
keep your pocket change,
let him give you something.
Let him give you a reason to go home and thank God tonight
instead of complain
because God is so tired of hearing us complain.
Keep a part of him with you after you’ve locked your doors and shut your curtains.
He is the only thing God made on the seventh day,
so don’t feel bad for looking,
He is a holiday and you must observe him.