Want To Believe

Stevie had eyes that never learned
the difference between what they saw
and what they wanted to see, which only earned
him repute as a flighty jabber-jaw.
Like that one time he saw an anaconda in the lake
which was only three carp, swimming snout to tail
as they fled fast away, not unlike a big snake
with the silhouette of their serpentine trail.
And that time he went running in pursuit
of Bigfoot on a fine Autumn day,
only it was a hunter in a Ghillie fur suit,
who loped like a gorilla as he went about his way.
And then there was that October night, full moon,
when the black werewolf appeared in the fog
and Stevie ran around, like a raving loon,
taking pictures of a neighbor’s shaggy dog.
And what about when red and green lights
appeared above his house, on Easter Sunday,
and he thought aliens had set their advanced sights
on abducting him instead of landing on the runway?
And think of those cryptids he catalogued in his files
with their strange grunts and moans and high-pitched cries
that mimicked human speech in all of its wiles—
always at night, and always ending in exhausted sighs!
Also, there was that week with all of the drama
about ghosts in the church graveyard across the street
which he found out later was a full-sized diorama
of the Wisemen veiled behind a thin, backlit sheet.
And then came that one day when Stevie walked through
Jesus and Buddha and Muhammed and all the rest
crowding together outside his door to ask him who
he would believe in if he wished to be blest.
“Sorry,” Stevie said, “but I’m not fooling myself again.”
And on that day he left, without a backward glance
being none the wiser, nor more foolish, than any other men
who have ever risked pride for folly, certainty for chance.

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