I Must Provide for My Family by Ralph Walldough

Because I believe I must
provide for my family
I buy food at “Chili’s To Go” and
carry it onto the airplane

As it taxis on the runway
my beautiful little daughter
lifts a flaccid strip of cheesed chicken
in the pale light, and bites it

The clouds over Milwaukee
below us are blackish-purple

In the medium distance
Jesus Christ, in female form,
hovers with glowing hands

Bolts rain downward
in all directions

Jesus Christ electrocutes
every human in the United States

The pungent smoke from our bodies
floats over the oil
sands of Saskatchewan

The plane stays aloft, miraculously
my ghost drifts along the aisle

Because a ghost can only sense
a living human and not a ghost
my ghost is alone

It tries to direct the plane
to the North
to no avail

When it crashes
my ghost remains
near the wreckage

Passing its frilly hand
over the crispy remains.

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