Searching for Religion in Iced Tea


The voice of god stomps through centuries
and blood baths—like persistent wild
flowers sprouting through the cracks
of fallen civilizations—

to reach my ears.  It is as soothing
as a summer afternoon in the
Arizona desert—with naked skin charred
and scorched by blades of sun.

His holy third eye blinks
to reveal gray caterpillar lashes that poke
the sky to beckon shapeless clouds,
leaps of faith, and poetry.

His bone-dry toes are crammed
inside crushed velvet slippers,
like crocodile heads resting
on goose feather pillows.

The shadows of his rubber band fingers dance
on the white walls of my ice cubes,
as drunken strippers slither
on hot, oily floors.  On my back,

I search for familiar faces
in the faceless clouds
only to discover my own reflection,
only to find my own ugliness…



With broken wings and untie shoes, a headless
ostrich sprints across the Australian desert
and explodes inside my head.
I have arrived!

I am the intestine of a gigantic snake
after he has just swallowed a chicken whole:
all feathery, slimy and full.
I am nothing.

I am the dog that wags its tail at strangers.
I must wear my plate across my chest
to remember my Master’s name.
I remove my head

and rest it safely in the secret place
where all lost gray socks must go to die.
Then lay my sweaty body on wings of butterflies
and grin at god.

~ by Samantha Lê


First published in Corridors

Copyright © 2001 by ​Samantha Lê
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form, without the prior written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, please use the contact form.


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