This Shorter Catechism for Atheists

How big is the atom?

The radius of a single one…

…Is 1/10th a billionth of a meter

Itself a string of them end-to-end in line…

…would be…

One for each human alive today…

…Strung together, microscopic pearls

Or this–

last of all…

…sugar cube congregation

Of atoms–

Held in the palm of one pierced…

…More in number than 

All the stars…

If you can count them…

No matter what

when I was young I loved a good wedding.  when I got a little older I feared them–wallflower at the dance.  older still, I understood the essential artifice, felt that weddings, however pretty or hopeful, were hupas erected in the straight path of hurricanes.

humans, let’s face it, really fall short when it comes to commitment, true at every wedding.  in fact, a requirement for weddings should be drab work clothes and sheets and sheets of answers to questions like–what will you do when he/she gets fat?  Commits a felony?  Develops a crush on Justin Bieber?

Yep–the Bieb. The hard questions.

So in honor of the essential Potemkin nonsense of weddings, I obsess over “real vows.”  

Vows like–I will stick with you, no matter what.

We could just do the one, really, because…because….

That is the God vow, the love vow, the Rescuer vow–

I will stick with you, no matter what.

A paraphrase of–I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Sounds pretty and green when you are all dolled out in fancy clothes, but it is something else indeed in the presence of human sin–venal, petty, stupid, cruel.

We humans excel at making ourselves repellent, yet there is our broken, strong-right-arm Ransomer…

Sticking with us

No matter what.

Chinese Handcuffs

you could think

They are just dollar store trinkets

Palm fronds woven across

A flat plane twisted three-dimensional 

Could be a rainbow or

The real periodic table

Or a map of the world 

In which somewhere there is

A factory full of 

Chinese handcuffs

Woven ropes braided through which create a binding

Tension through the center when

Pulled apart

Another name for divorce

Or a party trick

Or the object a scared man uses to explain things 

He doesn’t understand

Like Thomas Jefferson for instance–so hard to tie a knot

At the end of a rope

Harder still to be

The rope

Affixed with nails to the handle

Holding the world together–

No rope, no hope

Hold on tight