“I Find It Difficult to Talk to My Bible Friend” by David James

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David James


I have a friend, actually, a husband of my wife’s friend
who uses Bible verses to respond
to any issue.

If homosexuality comes up in the conversation,
he quotes a line
of scripture, word-for-word, his tongue like a wand

ending the discussion. Then he stands there,
happy in his certainty.
If we talk about what’s beyond

the grave, beyond the slow climb
into the earth, he recites, with a flare,
chapter and verse to claim his kingdom.

I admire his ignorance. For everything, there is an answer.
He never doubts or wonders. His prayers,
he knows, enter into the open ears of the divine.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith

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David James: “I am a tried and true Episcopalian. Writing poems, and maybe all writing, is a spiritual activity. The artist’s job is to wallow around in the unknown and believe he’ll find something worthy—which is the definition of hope, really. I think that’s why I write: to express my hope.”