Do You Still Have Your Soul?

(from the header of an email from a Kia dealer)

Satan never tempted me, never
made an offer, so I can’t claim virtue,
just a lack of opportunity.
Who gets these offers? Does the Evil One
recruit personally, or does he have
a staff? Interns? Probably. Internships seem
to be his work. Junior demons must be busy
collating binders full of sinners. Or has Hell
computerized? Archfiend IT managers
coding rubrics to scan Facebook for candidates,
flagging the Seven Deadlies.
They’re all on display, happy to announce themselves.
Gluttony, Sloth, and Vanity get so many
likes and shares, the demons can’t
keep up.

Are souls covered by the law
of supply and demand? I see the price
dropping, dropping, into the basement
and beyond. A thousand Facebook friends,
five hundred likes, the latest iPhone.
Satan throws up his hands. Where’s the challenge?

He’s already broken up the houses
into Soviet-style apartments. Not a problem,
since this is Hell, after all, but the business model
had more people saying hell no, we won’t go.
Wasn’t there supposed to be some competition
between sin and righteousness?

St. Peter calls, lonely for someone to talk to,
invites Lucifer to play golf. (Heaven has the best
courses, naturally; there are weeds on the greens
at Hell’s Hills Country Club.) On the second tee,
the talk turns to business. Pete asks, “You still using
those pitchforks?” “Only for Hell Classic,” Lu says.
“Anyone who checks in now gets spotty WiFi. And Netflix
is all reruns of My Mother the Car. And people still
keep signing up. Would you like to take some
off my hands?” “There are rules,” Pete says,
and shrugs. “My hands are tied.” He would love
to fill the echoing halls of Heaven, but his boss
is a stickler. And all he can offer is Heaven,
an uncertain pie in the sky that may prove
to be kumquat. How can he compete with Facebook?
Only faith could make tweeters forego the new iPhone
for Heaven, but faith does not come out
of a factory in China. Peter doesn’t see much
coming out of churches, either. He looks down
on preachers with Cadillacs. He looks down
on me, considers. No Cadillac, no deal with Satan.
No faith. No iPhone. Yet. What to do?

About the Author

Until 2003, David M. Harris had never lived more than fifty miles from New York City. Since then he has moved to Tennessee, acquired a daughter and a classic MG, and gotten serious about poetry. His work has appeared in Pirene’s Fountain (and in First Water, the Best of Pirene’s Fountain anthology), Gargoyle, The Labletter, The Pedestal, and other places. His first collection of poetry, The Review Mirror, was published by Unsolicited Press in 2013.