February 16, 2013

Clint Margrave

THE FAMOUS ATHEIST

had come to town to debate the afterlife.

At the reception following,
my wife and I watched a mob of disciples
rush up to him,
young men and women
in their thirties,
thrilled to be in the presence
of the great man.

Charismatic and as charming
as he’d always been on television,
the Famous Atheist
cracked jokes
about the end of the world,
compared god to Kim Jong Il,
made people laugh,
while reminding them
how religion still poisoned
everything.

As more and more followers
descended on him,
asking for autographs,
pressing copies of his best-selling
book into his famous hands,
telling unsolicited tales of their own
conversion,
giving praise to the man
who had saved them,

the Famous Atheist,
growing tired of their worshipping
his every gesture,
unintentionally
threw up his hands,
and they all bowed.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012