To the god who loves to roll and nuzzle
into mortal filth the way a dog does
warm grass in a shit-strewn dog park
I offer my sea-less Empire.
The zit-faced babies in their wife-beaters who hang
at the shop across the street
from the central high
who jump the ostensibly smart kids
for quarters to buy snacks
meet in secret over their five finger discounted
bongs and pay homage to you
You’re in the joke that isn’t funny
the grasping palms of the Northside
panhandlers with hole-y stories
who live in apartments more lush
than mine—these belong to you also.
Preside over the dying orange groves.
“Infected mosquitos here. Hydrocephalus risk,”
your inviolate scripture between the scruffy rows.
our landmark abandoned mall—
commerce’s inbred cousin.
Spin the carousel’s lame horses
that rock drunkenly on their tarnished poles
and whinny in the night for a bullet
between the painted eyes.
I offer our fame to you also—
Sammy Davis Jr. lost his eye here
in the dirt of a precarious fork
in the road out. It has rotted away
now, no doubt, brain food
for gila monsters, but the animus
would make a fine moist orb atop your scepter
with no eyelid to blind it to our resigned demise.
Watch over us, oh God of the Dark