The UnPi-ing of Pi*

By J.S. Porter

And I’ll be a Jew
when the synagogues
issue bonds for
the poor in Palestine,
and Levinas and Wiesel
see the Arab-Other
in the scars of their own faces.

And I’ll be a Christian
when the televangelists
stop the Christ-chants,
and turn themselves in
as Christ-criminals
who have defiled
His holy name.

And I’ll be a Buddhist
when flesh
isn’t converted
to spirit,
when the here and now
isn’t made into meditation and desirelessness.

And I’ll be a Muslim
when the Koran opens
like a mother in childbirth,
and encourages all the hands of the world,
including Jewish and homosexual hands,
to deliver new birth.

And I’ll be an atheist
when I can look at
the tremor in the trees,
the ripple in the pond,
and think of a better word
than G-d.

  • Pi, a character in Yann Martel’s novel, The Life of Pi, is a Muslim, a Hindu and a Christian.

  • Published in Hammered Out, Issue #4, September 2004.

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