From that “Don’t You Worry!” book
to plasticine Buddhas molded by coughing Chinese lungs
this country mart in the nowhere town Fredonia, New York
just up the road from my cowgirl sister’s manse
strives to be a little lamp that shines
flash-flickering on a narrowing backwoods highway
in deep Chautauqua solitude, all-penetrating Lily Dale light,
Virgin Marys comfortable on its shelves.
This shop foursquare between us and hell’s chittering gate
beguiles us with sacred images we’d only profane
while the proprietor ogles a Kirk Douglas champion movie
pounding along an a cable tv wired straight up to high heaven.
This guys says don’t ever count out buddhas or polyester virgins
says they haul us awake for the very next round
smack us out of our flagrant dreams
down onto the rough salvation canvas.