His God

Shane McCrae

I am the keeper tells
Me the most popular exhibit
You might not think this cheers me but it does
I’m given many opportunities
I like especially to ask the groups
Led by fat white men       I am careful to
Never address the fat man but the group
How has it come // To pass
that I’m on this side of the bars
And you’re on that side
And Who stands in your shoes
You or the people you resemble
they don’t give me shoes // I say
Gesturing toward a zoo employee
and I smile
Often the people do not answer me
Often the fat man squints       and says It real- // ly makes you think
Something like that       or There
but for the grace of God       / I tell the keeper they must be
The daughters and the sons of nearer gods
I tell him my gods had to stay behind
To watch my people       / He likes it when I talk like that
the truth is I don’t know
The keeper       when he’s drunk
Sometimes he says I’m lucky
To have been rescued from my gods
And I should thank the man who bought me
I used to laugh at him       but now I grieve
I think // His god is not a god like mine       / His god
Is not a mother       not a father
not a hunter       not a farmer
his / God is a stranger
from no country he has seen