Two Poems by Josh Lefkowitz




Poetry


 


Illustration by Donna Baxter
Illustration by Donna Baxter

Disguised

A fun game I like to play sometimes

on the Q or B or any other train

is to pretend that the person

seated across from me

is God

disguised in human form

which begs the question

on this particular Thursday morning,

of all the many holy robes

and clothing options lining the racks

in the infinity walk-in closet

that is Heaven,

why on earth is God wearing

a lime green velour tracksuit

with red pumps on her feet

and a Yankees hat atop her head?

Why is God so goddamn tacky today?

Perhaps the Lord overslept, kept

slamming the snooze as we all do

until such time that God had no choice

but to throw on old clothes,

rise and begin again?

Or maybe God is the businessman

in the sharply-pressed navy suit

with matching crimson tie

as crisp as a red delicious –

God with his earbuds plugged in,

God blocking out everyone,

God half-asleep and half-engaged

in the playing of some silly

barrel-throwing video game

that matters tremendously

but only to the monkeys on the screen?

Perhaps God’s the tattered bum

who claimed the north end

of the subway car for himself,

giving off a foul stench while we mere mortals

huddle together and steer clear?

But maybe God is you –

I’m serious now –

just you, reading, breathing a little,

and what I want to know is,

will you be benevolent

seated on your throne made of cloud?

The world

will one day cry out in sound or in silence,

The world

disguised as a person –

an aging parent or mewling infant,

a lover or stranger or colleague in crisis –

and what will you do then, God?

Don’t forget us then, God.

Say that you’ll say what we want most to hear:

It’s okay.  It will be okay.  I’m here.

 

 

Debra’s Poem

The road is obstinate

In its topography

As well as its irregular use of lights and signs

Some parts are smooth pavement

Easy and evenly laid

With an overabundance

Of overhead highway lamps

Other times

It bends into curves

All wild and unruly

And the rain and the darkness

Pelting down

So much so

That you may begin to feel

A fear or chill in your back or bones

You may get lost

You might shiver a little

But remember that

The light is always coming again

Either the ones on the side of the road

Who help to see what’s ahead for a while

Or the big one waiting at the end

And in the meantime

You just keep right on going

Exactly where you were going all along

 

Josh Lefkowitz won the 2013 Wergle Flomp Humor poetry contest.  He has had poems published in Court Green, The Hairpin, and elsewhere.  He has performed a pair of one-man shows in theaters across the country.  He lives in Brooklyn.