At the Way Station for the Afterlife – A Poem

At the Way Station for the Afterlife

There is a nun named Amanda
naked in the shower
at the Way Station for the Afterlife and
each drop of water is singing
hail mary
as they splash sanctimonious against
her fair skin.
I am spending time in the common room
with an old former Baptist
who converted
to atheism when he saw the sun rise
over the meadow fog
and over his dog
lying dead on the porch from a gunshot to its side.
His name is William (the old man)
(never learned the name of the dog)
but he goes by the name Slow Bob.

Slow Bob said there was no right in this universe
for what happened to his dog.
“No right at all.”

No sir.

Amanda comes down
dressed in gray sweats and
with a towel wrapped about her hair.
She smells dangerous.

A family man at a nearby table
focuses his attention
on the sliced banana in
his cereal.
I am not sure of his name.
Or anything really about him.
Only that he likes sliced bananas.
And he likes reading Tolstoy.
I think.

(Or some Russian author.)

Amanda comes and sits next to me
and lights a cigarette.

“Does it always need to sound
like fucking bells
every time you take a shower?”
Slow Bob asks.

I think he is sweet on Amanda.
Just that we all have our ways.
“Fuckin’ Bobby…” Amanda laughs
blowing the smoke
over the table
and in my grapefruit.

“It’s annoying.
You catholics have no respect
for others.”

Blame jesus.

“Yeah Bobby. Like he said.
blame Jesus.”


There is a commotion in the kitchen.
Something drops and someone yells.
A German man and his teenage daughter
run the kitchen.
(It’s she who yelled.)
Some people rush over
to crowd the door
and peer inside.
Hoping to find something scandalous.
Perhaps the daughter has
a secret lover
at the Way Station
for the Afterlife.
And they sneak into each other’s room for
illicit trysts that tear at the German Kitchen Man’s
and reputation.

Amanda rubs the towel
violently over her head and
takes it off
so that her hair falls
wild and wonderful.
Fragrances of midnight pears
cascade and enchant me
as she draws close
leans into me
smells my neck and whispers
in my ear.

I put my hand on hers on the table.
Squeeze it just a bit.
Hardly noticeable.
But Slow Bob notices.

“What did she say?” He asks me
full of suspicion.
He has grim eyes and a sharp nose.
Wrinkled cheeks
and brow.
His tie is loose about his neck.

“Oh Bobby,” she says into my shoulder
and her body pulls back slightly.
She smiles at me
and winks.

My Epiphany Train is coming in.

“Epiphany Train?”

“Epiphany Train!” Amanda yells and laughs.

“Isn’t that a damnable thing,” Bobby says

“Fire and brimstone, Bobby,” Amanda replies
staring at me.
Her eyes a seductive green.
She moves her hand underneath the table
to my thigh.
My heart races.
My breath becomes shallow.
“Fire and Brimstone.”

It comes tomorrow morning to collect me.

blame jesus

16 thoughts on “At the Way Station for the Afterlife – A Poem

      • That would be good. It reminded me a bit of “The Prisoner” or some of the writing of Philip K. Dick. I don’t know if I can explain it but there is a common flavor of uncertainty about the nature of reality, so “surreality” doesn’t quite do it justice. Anyway, it feels as though there is a lot of potential fomenting under the surface here.

  1. Joe, I haven’t been blogging too much (dealin with some shit), but stop by once and a while to check on some of my old favorites. This was phenomenal, I will have to stop by a bit more often. Although you make me feel guilty for not writing.

    • I wondered what happened to you as when I went to visit your blog, it was no longer there. I am happy to see you back, if only for a short time. Hope all works out well for you soon. I have not been able to write much recently, either, but have been getting back into the swing. Thank you for stopping by, and also for the comment!

  2. Pingback: Weekend ~ 1/31/14 ~ Year of the Wooden Horse | DCTdesigns Creative Canvas

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