Interviewing the Gods

I told the one with blue skin and tusks I’d let him know, punched the button
to announce “Serving Number 65.” The next one limped in, pale and hesitant,
leaned a lightning bolt against the coffee cart and whispered he’d settle

for anything. One arrived late, looked out the window and jumped. Another swaggered
in with matched deerhounds and demanded obedience. Number 77 was a silent pile
of fieldstones that arranged themselves beside my bonsai pots; 89 was dressed

in greenbacks big as palm leaves. 101 — a woman with a tiara of ivy vine
and one exposed breast. Another said he’d eased up on mead and, currently,
was counseling in the city. All afternoon they swam or crawled or flew

into the room. When I left for the day, an old man with a lunchbag in his lap
remained in the waiting room. He held a wren in his hand and studied the print
by Hieronymous Bosch. I asked him if he’d like to share a cab uptown, and helped
him to the elevator. The doors closed, and I told him my story.