by Mark Alan Williams
God works nights
along a broad highway,
lining the dead like split deer
along its shoulders. In the cold
Steam rises over the wet carnage of bodies
he once stitched together.
Ligaments to bones, valves to ventricles.
Tonight he pauses
weaving rough hands through the hair of a woman,
palms finding her cheeks,
scrapes her lips with his like
shards of heaven on
a broken jar.
Tomorrow he will be the dirt
that loves her again.
Everything is breaking open.
We are ripe
everything is bright and swollen with
diasporic organelles and minerals
making you & me
every morning we’ve breathed in.
all the soldiers and brokers and biker gangs
gossips and piano teachers
break open like sparklers in streams of red and white.
They were bodies God knit together
then pressed apart with slow dirt.
We, too, are bodies knit together like that.
We will be pressed apart.
When one of us is laid along the roadside
We will feel this pressure to disintegrate &
may have doubts or hopes
about a resurrection.
We’ll get wishful, revisionist, emergent.
Here, we’ll realize, we are
as we’ve always been
grains away from oceanic, you & I &
vast progress, our past and future
throats to a bucket of concrete, of tar, of salt.
Arms’ weight to a wet summer night,
bones to river silt,
fingertips to glaciers,
skulls to a reddening sink.
sent to a paper factory;
tongues pressed into
yard signs, collarbones, light bulbs, ear lobes;
down to a glaze of
polymer on glass.
And we’ll pray, flat as pine needles,
to the God
for us the people. Fold back
Your hands &
clap us back together
if only to dangle there
two rafter bats
in the echoless
of Your sanctuary.