A Poem: Losing My Religion | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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A Poem: Losing My Religion

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He checked the book again

because he just could not believe it.

To remedy his affliction, it said,

he should abandon his religion

and start counting backward from

the highest number he could

reasonably say was not absurd.

The effects were subtle at first,

less time on the toilet, not as much

midday snacking, more immediate

recall of the incidental names of people

he thought he could care less about.

Within a week, he needed less sleep.

After a month, he heard himself telling people

he'd never been happier, which was the kind of thing

he'd wince at before, whenever someone decided

to share their secret happiness. Improbable

presumption on parade, he'd scoff.

But now, the only uncertainty preoccupying

certain pauses in the day was How long?

He knew he'd been building a new one all this time,

which was what he'd always made fun of in the others.

And he was more than willing to give it up as well.

He just couldn't figure out how to avoid faith

altogether and live like this from now on.

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