Volume 25, Number 2


The sparrow still falls.
—Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow

I transcendentalize money, the man says
in my dream, part of a long speech to enlighten
those gathered for wisdom. My cat wakes me
before I can ask for meaning, translation.

I recall the spiritual gathering in Miami,
the man in yellow satin pantaloons
and matching turban. He drummed
off-rhythm beside two men on guitars,

told a rapt audience he was an enlightened
being. I was the only one who laughed.
The friend I’d come with ducked outside
to breathe and tromp off her seething.

Thoughts are more powerful than words
or actions.
We would all be murderers
and lottery winners. Power of attraction?
Porn addicts would have the most lovers.

“With God, no harm will ever come to you,”
said the preacher to us, mourners for Norma,
dead from ovarian cancer. He smiles
and sings with the choir. Does he know

yoga teachers? Mine said, “You will receive
the benefits of this class five years from now.”
I ask, “Who made that calculation? And how?”
and listen to the bliss of his roaring silence.

—Joan Mazza