Each religion is a failed try
at opening a gate
to let the dull, doomed, and miserably incomplete
members of the human race pour through
and grasp in their clawed hands
the sunlight of an ineffable spiritual reality.

Yahoos, Calibans, mud-bathers
they need it so badly
if only for reasons of self-esteem.

Ribs askew
along their bony sides
poking each other in the eye
as they ascend the ladder
they climb into religion’s kettle, crying,
Look at us! We’re the people of God
bathing in the milk of his approval.
Those others, the devil take them!

Americanism is one such religion and
I hear its bathers every day on the radio:
snarling, prideful, dumb,
saved, wrapped in the flag.

I had a naïve belief in the goodness of “the people”
until I heard them speak.