I was not a benevolent god,
only because I didn’t know how to be.
Chief among my failures was

that I didn’t know how to build
houses; without walls around them,
people aren’t happy for very long.

Often, my people would look at me
in angry disbelief, and it’s just as well
that I didn’t understand their words,

though I could certainly read the symbols:
mushroom clouds and lightning bolts,
nothing good. Never any thanks for

what I could provide: a pinball machine,
a potted plant, a striped chair, a TV.
All of this, they ruined, sooner or later—

no better sense than to set a fire
in the kitchen while warming a pizza,
no idea that garbage should be taken out.

They would live in their own filth
if I let them, oversleep and never go
to work if I didn’t wake them.

Even now, they sleep somewhere,
on a disk in a desk drawer, or on
the old, dead computer that is

probably still in our basement.
I regret that I couldn’t do more,
having called them forth only to

let them down. But not every creation
is a good creation; not every game
was meant to go on forever.


Contributor’s Notes: Marilyn Caviccia has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Journalism from Ohio University. She lives in Chicago, where she is an editor at the American Bar Association, as well as a freelance editor and writer. Her poems have appeared in Cider Press ReviewNaugatuck River ReviewThe Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and Alimentum: The Literature of Food. You can follow her at