"Charlie's Inferno" by Charles Joseph
 

Last week I met up 

with an old friend 

at a local bar 

 

and after

a few drinks 

he asked me why 

 

I still believe in God

heaven and hell 

and all that drivel 

 

the priests and nuns 

poured into our ears

when we were kids

 

and I told him 

that it's because

I've seen God 

 

in many people

Beelzebub in others  

and seeing is believing 

 

or at least an indication 

that there’s a chance 

someone or something

 

is up there  

or down there 

patiently waiting 

 

for you 

to quick draw 

your death card. 

 

To which he said,

“That’s ridiculous,”

and laughed so hard

 

he turned ruby red, 

grew horns, black wings,

and a long forked tail,

 

and then he 

offered to buy 

the next round

 

and the next 

and the next 

and the next

 

if I denounced 

my FAITH

and followed him 

 

and believe it or not

even though I was flat broke

I turned him down

 

like a good Christian solider  

or at least like someone 

with enough common sense 

 

to know that the devil’s 

always in the details

and in most men and women 

 

who are motivated

to sell you their side 

of GOOD versus EVIL

"Reality Check" by Charles Joseph

 

Show me 

a man or woman

 

who is 

one hundred percent 

 

perfect, moral, 

selfless, and true, 

 

and together 

we can all search 

 

for a valley 

of wild flowers 

 

that will never

wilt and die.