Douglas Goetsch
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UNBELIEVABLE STORY

She turned to me and said, “Why did Christ die?”
I hadn’t quite yet realized I didn’t want her
for a girlfriend, despite her interesting nose

and preference for short dresses. She said it—
“Why did Christ die?”—more like a statement
than a question, which I couldn’t have answered

anyway due to complete boredom with the subject
as compared to my fascination with what
she looked like pulling stockings over her thighs,

and whether that thought, that vision,
could get me through all the turn-off
of what came out of her mouth. Lucy Crup

her name was. Christians are as horny
as anyone, though awfully blind to it, which
is why they never suspect Mary of a thing,

though Joseph must have felt differently—
we have to allow for at least that, don’t we?—
walking ahead of his wife and her child

in his own world that winter night.
I picture him with dark bony brows,
serious, clear eyes, eyes a condor might

fly out of. He is confused and angry
and perhaps ready to convert to Islam
if only they’d hurry up and invent it.

I wanted Lucy Crup ever since she straddled me
wielding sun tan oil, leaning over, the tickle
tips of her long hair on the back of my neck.

Her smooth oiled thighs pressing against me
were the lubricated axes on which I thought
my world could turn, thighs that wouldn’t quit,

thighs I walked behind in the halls, stared down at
in the chair next to mine, in the back of Social Studies
where she kept quizzing me about Jesus,

and I kept praying she could be someone
less poisoned by that unbelievable story,
someone who went with her body, as I

swear her breasts grew by the day. Lucy
Crup where are you now? Have you
found a Joseph to go with your Jesus?

— Douglas Goetsch
from The Job of Being Everybody

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