“Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes
And I’ll forgive Thy great big
one on me.” Robert Frost
Today I used a piece of toilet paper––
so ingenious how the squares are perforated––
as a bookmark.
I marked the beginning
of a story in a journal
I pretended to mean to read soon.
My pretensions in the bathroom
are no more elaborate, I’d guess, than those of any other,
so why don’t we confess them, even to ourselves?
Confessionals are outfitted nowadays
with porcelain appliances, brass fixtures,
marble vanities with stacks of prayers in paperback––
(we futilely pray no one presumes these rituals
of bargaining our way out of bondage
to repugnant functions)––
to function as the ultimate ruse.
For no sleight-of-hand swipe performed
(however carefully) with unrolled, folded squares,
nor the most careful illusions of luxury
contrived of bodacious poses above prodigal devices,
will lessen the strain of such unnatural squatting.
Nature will still call from night’s drawn curtain,
beckoning us to the primal business
of dangling truth.