Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

[Two Poems]

by Robert S. King

How to See the World

By the book, he yields to signs and road rules,
follows the helicopter traffic reports
hovering in place with a bird’s eye view
above honkers, sirens, and stalled lights.

He always drives in the right lane,
makes only right turns,
takes every right turn.

Guided by local news,
his broadcast waves have a range
close to home, though sometimes
his mind flies off
with the geese and whirlybirds
into the wild beyond.


Hearing an Atheist’s Confession

Your heart races toward the finish line.
On the surface, only your lips
still move, opening and closing
the hole to a darker place
that only you can see, though
others chill in its draft. Every shadow
in your private room feels cold.

You’d never confess to a God
who would let you die, but to Death,
your oldest dread, your closest friend,
the one who absolves you now,
prepares you for the world
he has lived in forever.


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Robert S. King

is a poet and editor who lives in Athens, Georgia, where he serves on the board of FutureCycle Press. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has eight poetry collections published, most recently Diary of the Last Person on Earth (Sybaritic Press, 2014) and Developing a Photograph of God (Glass Lyre Press, 2014).

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“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury