Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Poem for Sunday

by Zachary Kluckman

How many days named for gods?

Trick question.
All of them.

Why not elbows?
Surely there was a god of bone
or gristle, gnarled enough
to describe this joint,
this ball peen hammer
I have driven into walls when restless.
Scratched bloody with nails.
Isn’t this the job we ascribe
our gods?
The destruction of temples?

After all, creation
is the name we prefer to give
our own hands.
Witness
this mess, this glory
left half erect in the yard,
our capital.

Success is a jungle gym
from IKEA
we might finish over the weekend,
if we can get the time off
from work.
The closest we come to prayer
is payday,

a good fight on pay per view,
a traffic stop.
When did cops anoint themselves
to godhood?
Was anyone watching?

What is the cost of our attrition now?
Bullets carved
from Hermes sandals,
urgency in every message.
I should take the time
to consider what this means,

but Sunday
means speed dates at the Y.
I must clean my arms,
remove the dirt and plaster.
The walls

still stand
despite my elbows,
not named for gods,
but I will pray with them
again, after.

This is how our faith works.
What we destroy
we wait
for another to rebuild.

Zachary Kluckman, the National Poetry Awards 2015 & 2016 Slam Organizer of the Year and 2014 Slam Artist of  the  Year, is a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medal Poetry Teacher and a founding organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program. Kluckman has appeared multiple times at the National and Individual World Poetry slams, as well as regional competitions, touring the nation performing and facilitating poetry workshops. Recipient of the Red Mountain Press National Poetry Prize, with work appearing in journals and anthologies worldwide, he serves as Spoken Word Editor for the Pedestal magazine and has authored three poetry collections.