Abstain from staring too long at the sky.
Stick to screens, little keyboards;
block out birds with private earbuds;
never hear the wind breathe harder.
Watch TV. Always drive.
Try to avoid a night outside
in ladled moonlight, glowing broth.
Eschew solitude; cut back on silence;
call up someone just to gossip;
send lots of messages; read them, too.
Make sure not to spend a winter in the woods,
a month on a summit, a week in a desert,
time by the sea if it promotes thinking
how it’s acceptance without conditions
that makes me acceptable, and pretty soon,
though tough at first, atheism’s easier.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.