What would Bob Kaufman write

A car alarm repeats itself

like a radio hit

while I’m looking for the jazz

out this window

and it’s coming,

I know it,

soon as that fucker

moves his car


this eleventh floor window

only opens far enough

to throw out the Gideon

in the dresser drawer

I give it a good spin

fluttering over and over itself

slow motion going down

Revelations in revolutions

going down

fragile pages

tearing free

desperately trying

to hitchhike the wind

to a fertile place

to plant and regrow


These Gideons,

they’re tough, man.

They’re made to be kicked around

by demented travelers

they beg to have the gospel

beaten out of them

they sing hallelujah

when thrown from hotel windows

This one’s still gasping

down there on the concrete

still losing pages

and trying to grow wings

gospels flapping

like dying fish

dirty, unloving feet

trampling The Word


But Gideon, man,

he never gives up.

He’ll be back

in that dresser drawer

soon as I check out

fresh new gospels

folded neat and tidy

between stiff covers

virgin pages still stuck together

waiting to be spread open to sing


but there’s always

an eleventh-floor window.




copyright Kimberly White  2004

published in Suisun Valley Review



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