Glory Box

Glory Box
for Anne

For his forty-third birthday party he blows up
an adult bouncy castle and entertains his guests
with old trip hop covers on acoustic guitar,

Give me a reason to love you… An hour later
we make our excuses. Love is difficult enough
in normal circumstances but at the intersection

of theology and real life, where the angel Barbie
scours the magazine gossip, Why I Scrubbed
my Face with Brillo Pads, the hermeneutic circle

in word and sacrament steeling itself at this
latest assault on established doctrine, we find
half an afternoon to reconnect romantically

in a chic Italian snug before the question must
again be asked, Why? If tools for flagellation
weren't available, the woman had to make do

with whatever was lying around, I suggest,
but you're more impressed with the marinade
firing up the olives, and the wine, house,

but bloody fantastic. The church secretary
wants a raise and to know whether Jesus died
to forgive sin or reveal it already forgiven

as the last nail was hammered in, and is shocked
to know this was a source of nineteenth century
internal strife, I've been a temptress too long

still fogging up my head like a disputed text –
two minutes on the bouncy castle, a lifetime
with you, not long enough, theologically speaking.
Rob A. Mackenzie

from The Opposite of Cabbage (Cambridge: Salt, 2009)

Reproduced by permission of the publisher.
Rob A. Mackenzie

Rob A. Mackenzie was born in Glasgow. He studied law and then switched to theology. He spent a year in Seoul, eight years in Lanarkshire, five years in Turin, and now lives in Leith. He is reviews editor of Magma poetry magazine and also administers the review site, Elsewhere.

His pamphlet, The Clown of Natural Sorrow, was published by HappenStance Press in 2005, followed by a collection, The Opposite of Cabbage (Salt, 2009). A pamphlet, Fleck and the Bank, was published in 2012 and a second full collection, The Good News, in 2013, both by Salt.

Read more about this poet