You don’t have to believe in the Devil
to end up with him. God’s not so easy.
Say God takes the form of an egret.
Say the Devil also takes the form of an egret.
Both have a habit
of standing all spooky on the East Texas streets.
They wait sober and ghostly
for your car all night.
And when you come half-drunk round the bend
God-Egret steps calmly aside.
Devil-Egret lets you hit him.
Look, if I have a habit of dressing up
it’s because I’m hoping when I do run into the Devil
he might go a little easier on me.
Even the Devil must go gentle
around the edges of my blue polka-dot dress.
“Men like red,” says my manicurist. It’s true.
Red fingernails still slay them like it’s 1942.
“Dear God, my head,” I say. The fumes are bad.
And now she’s gone to work on my feet.
Some facts about the Devil:
He likes to hide in your glove compartment.
He’s a yellow bug light in your basement.
When you can see your heart beat in your fingertips,
Or your skirt gets too tight in the waist, he’s close.
And now a coat of Quik-Dry.
as you come to the crossroads in the moonlight
and the egret that appears there stays there.
What choice do you have. Say the Devil-Egret
is the only egret. Then hit it.