A House Divided Against Itself Is a Duplex

Let’s say I’m dead. What do I do for kicks?
In Sunday School I’m told that I’ll have wings
if I’m good and get to go to Heaven
when I croak, and I’ll play music, too, more
than the kazoo or drum, triangle or
harmonica, even, and sing a lot,
maybe twenty-four hours a day, seven
days a week, that is if there are days and
weeks in Heaven and the months and years they
add up to, and that’s when I raised my hand
like we have to do in regular school
and asked Miss Hooker, she’s our Sunday School
teacher, how she knows all she knows or thinks
she knows or at least knows she thinks she knows
about Heaven when my classmates told me
to hush up, they would’ve said shut up but
didn’t, out of respect for God, I guess,
which is okay by me, and Jesus, too,
out of respect for Him, and while I’m on
triangles I might mention trinities
—the Holy Ghost, the third, whoever He
is and out of respect for Him as well,
then Miss Hooker said Don’t worry, children
—Gale will pray about that tonight before
he goes to sleep but to help him along
let’s all pray for him now
and before I
could throw up my hand again Miss Hooker
had her head bowed and hands folded and eyes
shut and it’s funny, it came to me that
maybe she can see God better that way,
I mean that she wears glasses even when
she prays with eyes shut, so after Amen’s
all around I shot my hand up a third
damn time, triangles and trinities once
more and asked if she takes her glasses off
before she falls asleep or does she need
‘em to dream in 20-20, then she
started to cry in front of a dozen
disciples—I almost said doughnuts—I
mean to say children—and when her weeping
stopped, a kind of living water or see
-through blood, she said That’s all for today, let’s
go home,
as if we all live in the same
one. Of course we don’t. Then again, we do.

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in many journals and has authored three books of poetry. He has taught university English courses in the US, China, and Palestine.

See more of Gale's work in 6.4 here