So the man went away and began to tell
      the Decapolis how much Jesus had done
      for him. And all the people were amazed.

      —Mark 5:20

The morning I could not stop dragging
the imaginary gun sight across
the rugae of my hard palate, I called in sick

and went to lie on my parents’ couch
where my father made me watch
women’s softball on ESPN 2 to help me

stay alive. “Concentrate on the ponytails,”
he said. “Nobody ever killed himself staring
at ponytails.” Which, I’m happy to report,

is still true. All that bouncing hope
tied up in scrunchies. And my mother made
potato salad and sat beside me

and didn’t feel the need to say a thing.
So don’t be amazed when you read
that the demons cowered then begged

the Lord to be allowed to drown
in the shrieking gullets of pigs.
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