“Jesus loves you.”

Christ! Why’d he have to tell me that? I didn’t ask for it. And how in the hell would he know? For a kid washing dishes at a coffee shop That sissy’s got a lot of gall! To stare me in the eye! By God I should have said: You got it kid. Go ahead. Spit out the verdict. Here’s your kewpie doll! Pound those nails: What arrogance! What impudence! Stick ’em in the ribs! Make ’em eat those words again! How dare he! Using Jesus’s name in vain— His pretended master, to boot! Lancing the wound with his cruel finger: The end of doubt. What a revolting development. It’s a movement! They want to crucify us as sinners, We who know not what we do. We who want to save our own souls. An eye for an eye! You bet. But how can they be so blind as to think That if Jesus did love me, I wouldn’t know it? It’s a temptation too great. They take the cake, but let them eat it. They are the God-forsaken, and they’ve asked for it, But to give it back to me like that Exceeds the bounds of giving, And I ain’t taking it lying down. Sitting here alone at the counter, minding my own business: After work, past midnight, a tired Sunday. And for him to come in here, busing his dirty dishes: His silver platter, his holy grail, And humming to himself his sick sweet tune like a girl, Makes me want to puke! So delightful; so innocent. Ha! Let him pour my coffee. Let him pour it on, I thought. My cold cup was just sitting there empty in front of me Because the waitresses were too busy. But I didn’t ask for it, and I ain’t going to drink it black, So why in hell did he have to say that? He pours the coffee, and then he tells me, Straight out! A boy without a conscience, defenseless, Staring me down, eyeing me with his blue eyes, Unflinching, the single focus of the snake, Just so I would see, I suppose, That because the waitresses where too busy, Jesus loves me. Well, God damn it! Jesus didn’t write the Book. It strikes a note of poetic justice, don’t it? Doris Day loves you, I should have said, You lucky primadonna! So does Mao Tse Tung! Can you dig it? I don’t care if it is Sunday. I hope he shudders this very night After he shuts his undivided eyes. I hope he has dreams of heaven And decides to face the cross tomorrow.

8 May 1975