God and Cup

William Keckler
2 min readFeb 25, 2023

An old man was enjoying a hot cup of coffee while watching the Grand Guignol of the morning news. When his phone buzzed, he turned too hastily and knocked his cup to the kitchen floor where it shattered.

He knew he would seem senile to himself if he wept over a coffee cup, but he really wanted to weep. That goofy ceramic cup with the humorous kitties on it had pleased the lips of his wife every day while she was alive. That’s why he loved holding it and sipping from it. He felt her ghost lips somehow close to his when he drank from it.

Now he knelt on the kitchen floor by the puddles of joe, his hands two fists dangling at his side, his eyes closed, whispering something that wasn’t really words but maybe somehow a prayer, anyway.

When he opened his eyes, the cup was whole again. The puddles of joe gathered themselves together and spake unto the man. It was the Lord in a strongly caffeinated form. It was all rather blurry in there, the coffee was getting bad reception, but clearly the Big Kahuna had materialized.

“I am happy to answer your prayer,” the thing said. And there was a sort of blurry smile. Or Herbert thought there was.

“Oh, Thank you!” he stuttered. While he felt a true upwelling of gratitude for The Miracle of the Coffee Cup, Herb was also feeling that paparazzi instinct everyone gets around the Divine. The man wondered if he could reach his cell phone, and also whether God would even appear in the photo, or whether it was a vampire sort of deal. He even thought about taking a surreptitious photo, but it’s God, so surreptitious was sort of out of the question.

“Wait a second,” the man said. “So if you can make things whole, I could have asked you to do the same thing with my dear dead wife, my long-gone parents, even Sales? (Presumably, the Lord knew that Sales was a deceased pet chihuahua, since omniscience was also part of the schtick.)

“Yes, of course. But it’s only the one prayer granted…for now.”

God’s voice was annoying , the voice of a parent in a bigbox toy store telling a child to choose one toy only and make sure it’s under twenty bucks.

“Then why didn’t you tell me it was only one wish?! Why didn’t you tell me I could have brought somebody back! I feel so stupid!”

“Because nobody will believe you about the coffee cup,” God said, and disappeared from the improvised java window.

“Oh snap,” Herbert thought, and got up from his knees to refill the cup in which kitties in grass skirts would continue to dance the hula, perhaps for eternity.

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William Keckler

Writer, visual artist. Books include Sanskrit of the Body, which won in the U.S. National Poetry Series (Penguin). https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/532348.