Chain-Smoking Jesus, Convo 2

I found myself back at
that ratty diner somewhere close
to closing time,

and he was there,
without a care, cigarette smoking,
him toking long, long drags

and swallowing them completely.
"Hey, stranger," his flowing
words seemingly finding only my ears.

"Hey," I respond, noticing
the spent butts, wondering
if the Lenten Dreams are filtered.

"You have a problem," he starts.
"Partly," I respond, ordering a cup
of coffee, bordering on embarrassment.

"And you'd like my help," he offers,
his fingers drifting mindlessly over
cream, lifting lily-white on his spoon.

"You're doomed." He said, blunt
as usual. "In front of me, I see
a man, free to his own devices,

driven by near- misses, upsets, and yet...
here you are, getting coffee with Jesus.
No one sees us, friend, without judging,

begrudging us for our abilities to do
what only few have dreamt.
You've spent your time regretting,

forgetting to see that the light around you
won't fight you, but nourish you.
You got problems, sure. So do I.

So do they, and they're like fingerprints,
since no two problems are exactly the same,
as lame as it is to say..."

I hadn't spoken since I sat down.
That's how it was with him, but my frown
was no longer fixed with the points to the floor.

"You were saying I'm doomed," I offer,
sensing the lull in the conversation.
In imitation of two old friends,

I ask, "why do you say that?"
He stitches his brows, puckers his lips,
and dips his donut in his coffee.

"I don't know what else to say
if you won't pay attention. The moral
is that your problems won't be

solved if you keep expecting
everyone else to solve them for you."
He blew out a halo of smoke

and spoke, "but that doesn't mean
you shouldn't ask." He leaned in close,
mostly so I could hear him mutter,

"A stutter just means that your mind
has trouble finding the right words to say."
With that, I paid my bill, two bucks, and shook

his hand, which I took gladly.
Sadly, I had to meet up with some older friends,
who were waiting on me.

-JR Simmang


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