My god is a short god. My god wears jeans.
When he swims, he has a lazy breaststroke.
When he gardens, he uses his bare hands.
My god watches reruns of late night talk shows.
My god could levitate but prefers the stairs
and if available, the fireman’s pole. My god
loves bacon. My god’s afraid of sharks.
My god thinks the only way to define a country
is with water. My god thinks eventually,
we will come around on ear candling. My god
spits chaw. My god never flosses.
My god reads Proust. My god never
graduated. He smiles when astronauts reach
zero gravity and say My god, My god.
My god is knitting one very big sweater.
My god is teaching his terrier to beg.
My god didn’t mean for icebergs. My god
didn’t mean for machetes. Sometimes
a sparrow lands in the hands of my god
and he cups it, gently. It never wants to leave
and so, it never notices that even if it tried
my god has too good a grip, my god, my god.
Sandra Beasley is the author of three poetry collections—Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir that doubles as a cultural history of food allergies. In 2018 she edited Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, the Friends of Literature Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North, fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay-Colony, and four DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. Her poems have been featured by Best American Poetry, Verse Daily, and Best New Poets. She lives in Washington, DC, and teaches in the University of Tampa low-residency MFA program. (updated 4/2019)