from laying case knives on a dress pattern,
from running a trotline and baiting the hooks with gone liver,
from mashing a tobacco worm into a green blot,
from crimping dough at the piecrust edge,
from whisking an egg,
from whipping a boy with a switch he fetched,
from doffing a bolt of taffeta,
from working the one arm of the adding machine,
from beating the answers out of the erasers
Oh Lamb of God, they come.
in the scalding
blood, the blood
shed for you,
into the water
and the life
When a snapper latches on, he’ll only release if it thunders.
Maud Brown could blow thrush from a baby’s mouth.
Phillip Amos would take fire out.
Shirleen Anderson could speak warts away.
To bring someone home, take a lock of their hair and walk backward to their door and in over the threshold.
Lard rendered on the wrong side of the moon will go rancid.
A pregnant woman should not look at the full moon or even the full moon’s reflection.
why he was
I want you
your only child,
into those feet
River thick brown, a liquid road, going on its own dirt and taking its path as it goes.
A canopy of green, a living, breathing roof and the light through it green.
Mockingbirds splash. Amble of the opossum. Cardinal a red thread run
through the green warp.
Moccasin a muscle brown and blunt.
Frog all fart, all ja-rump, all slap and not a bad meal if you have a mess.
Carp nudge a drowned cow and sup.
The green buzz and crawl of it all.
Jesus as your
know the Devil’s
like sour milk.
feel the Devil’s
your soft skin,
crusted and brown
with old blood.
the Devil off
but Old Scratch
you to stay
in your pew.
He wants you
to think about
a new car,
that TV show,
that baseball glove,
Are you thinking
If you are,
the Devil’s grinning.
Blackberry bramble white in May with blooms that by July will be fat drops
of sweet ink.
Whippoorwills address the evening in our tongue.
And bobwhites the day. Crows laugh. Terrapins hiss. Squirrels bark and dogs bark and the groundhog whistles a tune, a tune from roots, a tune fed by timothy and purple clover, a tune from fur and yellow ever-growing teeth, a tune from sturdy little hands and their dirt-polished claws, a tune most local, a sinful tune if this world is sin.
see his sharp
hear him whistle
that little tune
in the sulfurous fires?
hear that tune,
just for you?