Catalog of Divine Encounters in Mobile County, Alabama
BY BRAD TRUMPFHELLER
One man says he saw god at the pain clinic on Lafayette.
Untucked shirt. Knife-white bandana, shadows boxing
under each drowned eye socket. There’s never been a record
of his hands, but that’s never stopped me from painting
my nails. Some days we still find water jugs
in the crawlspace, already licked clean. Once I watched
someone shoot a stray dog in the parking lot.
Across one page someone has only written Before the storm
How the neighbor boy felt pressed sweating against me.
Outside the liquor store, one of my cousins took a picture
of a cross-shaped water stain.
At last this lack of landscapes.
The moon rises, then wheels, then steps
into a bathtub, slick with its own shine.
Alligators laze in red mud, hunting their tails.
Emptied lakes. A wake of widening eyes.
On the bus back to the sticks, Uncle Buck met a girl
with a back-length braid who claimed she could heal the sick.
A woman wrote that god shops at the Winn-Dixie
in cowboy boots & likes to click his spurs
against the carts. Bullwhips of wind.
Don’t ask me about acrylics.
Between where he happens on my tongue & a window.
Battlefielding. Bone up.
Nobody saw my grandfather
cadaver himself. Even birds no longer sound
useful. When I pray for rain I pray
the trees die before it comes.