James Hoch

My Letter of Introduction to God

I’m 33, Christ’s age; you remember Christ.
I was lucky enough to be born in New Jersey,
so believe I am entitled to a few things: I’d like
a stone house floating on a lake, for the stones
to shimmy and fall into water, to salvage them,
so I could learn masonry. I always wanted
to be a stone mason, so elegant, so strong.
I’d like a house in Mexico and a day for me
to wake, pomegranates growing in my yard.
I’d like a cast iron tub, lavender and sage,
for my wife, Isabelle, to soak in. I’d like a wife
named Isabelle and a few children who look
a little like me, okay, a lot, but better than me,
small enough to run beneath the belly of a horse.
I’d like a horse for my excessively beautiful
children and, if she would agree, for my wife,
my excessively beautiful wife, Isabelle, to ride
through the streets, though no one would
possess her, not even me, who’d try to.
I’d like the streets to be empty, empty of want,
empty streets, except for the horse, his odd
fondness for staring into troughs, and dogs,
a pack who would remind me of people
I have loved and failed to love well enough,
the way they roam back into my life, ones
that would tend not to stray beyond my voice,
and if so, would turn gentle, more caring,
like the horse the children feed pomegranates.

James Hoch
My Letter of Introduction to God first appeared in The Antioch Review, Summer ’01, Volume 59 number 3.