Jody Azzouni


Extreme Unction

Originally published in The Midwest Quarterly, Autumn, XLV:1, 2003.
Added 4/09/2020
Download PDF

Send in Your Comments

Extreme Unction

Poem | Jody's Notes


Efficacy comes in guises:

prayer, the beating of hearts.

Symbiosis is a sin

(in some settings) and yet,

we all look up when it rains.


I too like God in small doses,

the drip drip drip

of the morphine drip, the priest

with eyes rolling white.


But how will we invoke heaven

after they cure cancer,

when no one turns ugly

(when cosmetics finally work)?


I tell you, we should never arrive:

asymptosis is our only salvation,

the long crawl up the tiered waterfall,


the swift movement

beyond insect ways:

our yearning to ropetrick

our way to heaven;


without it, we are only

daft squirrels in winter,

our small hoards small museums

kept by addled descendents, worshipped

by labels, the occasional

postcard (shot into space)

for aliens.