Free Verse Selections, ” The Last Atheist “

The Last Atheist

You are the only magic
that I believe in,
my dear wife who still prays
when I don’t

Peek-a-boo
I see you
in I.C.U.

I find joy in watching you hug
the many tenets of your faith like
teddy bears of God, because
your cuteness is kind.

You smile
and I see in our flowing eyes
you are my talisman, my
magic pool, and
I swim in you

but stay, and though you pray, I
don’t want a higher power. I
want you to
tell me a story, to
stay with me at my bed, and
I think that

the growing grape
doesn’t care
about the wine, cares not
to make a point — no spirits
in these many things of nature, but

I’m intoxicated by your spirit
your smile. Hug me like
I’m a teddy bear of God
and I make

a toast from the brink of death:
show me the magic
before I go drink oblivion
and tell me the lie
you’ll never leave me

You are the
only magic
I believe in

But I will die
little
a point vanishing
nothing remaining for me.
To myself
I will have never been

and if I ever loved you
I will not know

and if you ever loved me
I will not feel it because
to me, I will have never existed

I will be forever nothing
unless

you could save me forever
not as a memory
but as me, myself
and we — I mind that
I could not kiss you
if I were a mist in time

Show me the magic
or hearty spirits, but

I do not wish to haunt you, and
you deserve more than dust

Must you go from me or
must I go as a vapor?

Show me the magic,
woman of my dreams.
I swim in you.

Before I go far out of my mind
you must tell me a lie:
tell me you are God, though

perhaps
you could be my angel

Perhaps
your spirit will carry me to heaven –

seems plausible
for an angel, and
you are beautiful magic
but

how will I kiss you again
if you won’t teach me
the magic of your tales. Explain the
phosphorescent creatures in your fables
who swim in seas of ineffables
and let me drink your glow
if these be souls

Show me the magic:
any miracle will do.
I believe in you.

Be happy for now, and
don’t miss me.
I will have never been.
Good-bye.

— Douglas Gilbert

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