Tea with Satan

Christmas, 2003 / No. 11

I sat with Satan for a cup of tea

(herbal tea, for in hell there is no caffeine)

around a stooping, satin-covered atheist

and I said,

“Satan, why are you so mean? Why is there no sugar on the table? ”

His hands clapped once, for twice would turn off the lights,

and Jesus brought forth a bowl of sugar.

(I was as surprised as you are. Apparently God doesn’t like people pretending to be His son.)

My glasses straightened.

“Satan, you can’t fool me. That’s not sugar. It’s a sugar substitute filled with chemicals suspected of causing cancer.”

He apologized in one of those smarmy, “Oh, does it? ” kind of ways

and changed the subject immediately.

“So, how’s God doing? ”

“He’s fine, staying quite busy with the poverty thingy. You know, trying to feed the world and all. He asked how you were.”

The last part was a lie, but I thought it the polite thing to say.

The Devil smiled,

by accident of course.

“Yes, I heard about that. People aren’t getting enough to eat or something. I’m so bad at keeping up with current affairs.”

I smacked the Devil,

only a light cuff to get his attention,

and said,


Not loud, but in a forcefully calm tone.

“What do you want from me, Trevor? ”

he questioned, with a hint of sincerity.

“What I’ve always wanted—”

The Devil held his breath with anticipation.

“An ending to my story.”

Trevor Davis lives near the Beach. He is currently working on post-production for a short film based on his story “The God Machine.” His first published poem appeared in the summer, 2003, issue of Taddle Creek. Last updated summer, 2006.