Aaron Belz


He who eats the bad mustard
has sat in the sunshine too long.
It will make his brain sleep like a lotus
while siroccos caress his boots
and his girlfriend crushes shiny
beans between two large stones.

He will have to return the long yellow
parka to Patagonia and get back
in his 4-Runner, buckle up and go home.

But he who drinks the cold honey
will feel his brow untie, and his mind
will begin to roam like a jaguar.
He will crave raw octopus,
and he will win state track meets
after giving a gold watch to his nephew.

He will not need to cash in his favorite rug,
nor will he have to abandon his Saab
on the Great Northern Highway.

His children will be double the number
of anyone else's and half the trouble.

My son, it is better to follow the path of the righteous man;
for his days will be long in the land the Lord has given him.


Aaron Belz is working on a Ph.D. at Saint Louis University. His writing has appeared most recently in Jacket, RealPoetik, and Books & Culture.