In the gruff days before she killed herself,
I told myself she was the preacher’s problem
because that’s what he did; he comforted
the distraught souls, cushioned the despair.
He had all day for visiting, while I worked
all day, while I frittered with numbers for
meager paychecks, to pay the bills and buy
my vodka, so it was his deal, his bag of guilt.
But I kept thinking of it, kept thinking that I
expected too much of the preacher, a man we claim
to be a man of God, for if a man of God couldn’t
save her, how could I, the orphaned infidel?
Yes, but I replayed the days before, all of those
days in my cubicle thinking of when my vodka
would comfort me first, then thinking maybe,
perhaps, if I spent time with her, it would help,
but the vodka never gave me time.