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The Problem of Evil

ISSUE:  Winter 1983
Remove any of the characters and the problem goes away.
So, sooner than worship the inexplicable, the century
Prefers to do away with god, except for an occasional bark:

The dog on the back porch won’t bite. Still, if madness
Could heal, couldn’t we feel our way back? Yes, the victim
Bleeds roses; the swan traces a gracious question mark

On dark tributary waters; the music ceases but the dancing
On, and no one laughs. From rain to river and back to the
Goes the tear, and even Satan’s partisan reviewers ask

What is the meaning of this noble ash? So the future of the
Of America the stewardess demonstrating the oxygen mask
Dissolves the pragmatic guilt, accepts the dissolute past

Of the goddess whose breasts can be fondled without fear
At the end of the year, at the end of a season
Of necessary gloom. And the problem returns, on purpose.


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