Miss Hooker says that I’m going to go
to Hell if I don’t stop all my sinning,
the sins I can help, she means, since Adam
and Eve sort of got me started so that
I’m damned if I wasn’t born in it, sin
that is, so I’ve got to get my soul saved
if I want to escape Hellfire when I
croak, whenever that is, who knows but God
and Jesus and I guess the Holy Ghost,
the Big Three, sort of like Roosevelt and
Churchill and Stalin in regular school
maybe or for that matter Spahn and Sain
and pray for rain, that’s baseball, before my
time but then so were Adam and Eve and
FDR. He had polio. But he

rose and walked, or got along well enough
and I won’t be saying the same for me
when I’m dead if I’m dead in Hell and not
dead in Heaven, which is actually
eternal life, Miss Hooker says, and she’s
25 so I rest my case and I’m
only 10, too young for anything
except getting into an accident
and dying without asking Jesus to
forgive me for my latest sin, which is
probably another sin and that’s why
I’ll never go to Sunday School again,
I’m going to quit while I’m ahead, or
is that behind. Where they meet, there am I.


I tell Miss Hooker, our preacher, and God,
and, I guess, the whole blamed congregation
I do when I marry her, in my dream
I mean, last night. I’m only ten years old
and she’s 25 and my Sunday School
teacher but in dreams things can be real, what
you really want that is, as well as what
you don’t though that makes them too much like life.
But like I say, we get married. And then

we go away for our honeymoon, we
just drive, or I do, in my new pick-up
to a nice motel, free cable TV
and continental breakfast and a pool,
to start our new life right. I’ve got checkers
and cards in my suitcase and Miss Hooker’s
bought Yahtzee and Parcheesi and the Game
of Life so we should have plenty to do
to kill the hours until it’s time to fall

asleep. That’s when I’ll see her naked if
only in the dark, she’s shy but she’ll get
past that and so will I, being naked
I mean. I hope she doesn’t scream. I hope
I don’t, either. Then we’ll kiss for a while
and go to sleep and in the morning there’s
more nakedness but this time by light but

it’ll be okay, we’re married now and
I guess it’s in the Bible. I’ll ask her,
Miss Hooker knows more about God than God
does even if it’s a sin to say so
—who really knows about sin until they’re
dead and then there’s Hell to pay? But I woke

before we did—woke up in my own bed
alone and ready for Sunday School and
Miss Hooker for real again, her red
hair and green eyes and freckles, better than
anything naked anyway, I don’t
need to see her naked to see through love.
There’s not much to see anyway. Just guts.

Bow Wow

In Sunday School today I went to Hell
at least in a dream when I fell asleep
and woke up in it, my dream I guess, with
Satan there in front of me and by his
side Miss Hooker herself, my Sunday School
teacher and a beauty and her only
fault is that she’s 25 and I’m 10
but maybe it’s really God’s fault and I
told her so, and Satan, too, right then and
there and Satan smiled, if you can call it
smiling, it was more like grinning, the way
my mutt does when he’s being bad and not
giving a damn—well, Miss Hooker fainted
and I bent over to pick her up and
then I woke, in our classroom I mean, with
Miss Hooker helping me to my feet and
into my chair and my classmates giggling
and when I looked her in the eyes again
Miss Hooker held me there. And it was good.