It is precisely because there is no God,
At least not one that hovers overhead
And looks and sounds like
A giant, semi-transparent Charlton Heston,
That we must not sin.

Sin wouldn’t matter so much
If there was a nicely muscled
Sky-bound Michelangelo figurine,
Even some indignant angels,
A demarcated heaven and hell,
A legible book of days
A risen scapegoat, any old chance
At transcendent punishment,
Forgiveness, or redemption.

But there isn’t.

And that is precisely why
You had best take responsibility
And live the categorical imperative
And be a lady or a gentleman,
And sin only when you really must
(And then, mostly sins of the flesh)
So that when you die
When your consciousness
Discharges like lightning into the clearing
Your regrets won’t linger like ozone
And foul the irreverent air.

About Brad Hatfield

Brad Hatfield was born in 1957, in Yakima, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1980 with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing. Recent publications appear in the WPA’s Whispers & Shouts, Switched On Gutenberg; the Poetry Superhighway; the Orange Room Review; Sein Und Werden, Best Poem, Words-Myth and Origami Condom, The Blue Fog Journal, Decanto Magazine, and Common Sense 2. Brad lives with his companion and their son Grayson in Mill Creek, WA.

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