Mailing My Sins to China

William Doreski

On Easter I gather my sins

and box them to mail to China.

The cold morning light expresses

the most delicate lack of faith.

Shadows crawl across the garden,


leaving tracks in soft yellow soil.

The churches in the village sigh

as their apotheosis occurs

in slurs of organ music. Cars

parked along the highway shine


like turtles basking in the sun.

My sins don’t weigh very much.

Wrapped in brown paper, this box,

addressed to the government,

will cost hardly a few dollars


to send by surface transport.

Whoever opens it will die

of shame, the lies and lecheries

flocking like moths. Did Jesus die

for such nonsense? I hope not.


Seated on a comfortable rock

above the Sea of Galilee,

he must have felt triangulated

between father and humankind,

must have stroked his beard and thought


that the shiny blue water

on which he had already walked

mirrored rather than embodied

a terrible depth. The package

prepared, I can waste the day


walking in the thawed brown woods,

leaving scent the Hound of Heaven

would have no trouble following—

its big tough rubbery snout

twitching with laughter, not rage.

About the Work

William Doreski

William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire. His most recent collection of poetry is Waiting for the Angel (2009). He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors.  His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, Natural Bridge.  He won the 2010 Aesthetica poetry prize.

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