I Can Take Satan

by Bill Yarrow

I took jujitsu in high school, fencing at camp
kick boxing in trade school and learned
hermeneutics on the job so I was pretty sure

given the improvements in steroids over the years
I could take Satan in a fight. It was all I was convinced
in designing the encounter. I guess I could have

studied Clausewitz but I figured films particularly films
of the 40s and 80s would suffice and I was right.
I was totally prepared. I knew everything about backstabbing

and the double cross. So one evening I sent the challenge
and he appeared. This was Satan? A figure of immaculate
fun, a know-nothing skin-and-bones wimp weasel of a runt!

He came in hooded and robed but I was just musing
for his bruising. I felt ready for anything he could throw at me
and as I contemplated his paltriness I grew confident

in my ability to crush his nuts. Well he ran at me. Undaunted
I stood my ground. But as he ran at me his hood flew back
and revealed his head—it wasn't a head, it was a screen

upon which flashed a succession of images, each lasting
only a millisecond but long enough to register on my retina,
images of beauty, horror, excitement; artworks, statuary,

portraits; the most beautiful photographs I had ever seen,
the most interesting inventions, the greatest designs; all desire.
And I stood there entranced, astounded and amazed.

And while I stood there enthralled he struck me through.