All My Friends Are Finding New Beliefs

All my friends are finding new beliefs.

This one converts to Catholicism and this one to trees.

In a highly literary and hitherto religiously-indifferent Jew

God whomps on like a genetic generator.

Paleo, Keto, Zone, South Beach, Bourbon.

Exercise regimens so extreme she merges with machine.

One man marries a woman twenty years younger

and twice in one brunch uses the word verdant;

another’s brick-fisted belligerence gentles

into dementia, and one, after a decade of finical feints and teases

like a sandpiper at the edge of the sea,

decides to die.

Priesthoods and beasthoods, sombers and glees,

high-styled renunciations and avocations of dirt,

sobrieties, satieties, pilgrimages to the very bowels of  being ...

All my friends are finding new beliefs

and I am finding it harder and harder to keep track

of the new gods and the new loves,

and the old gods and the old loves,

and the days have daggers, and the mirrors motives,

and the planet’s turning faster and faster in the blackness,

and my nights, and my doubts, and my friends,

my beautiful, credible friends.

* * *

Excerpted from SURVIVAL IS A STYLE by Christian Wiman. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Copyright © 2020 by Christian Wiman. All rights reserved.

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