Back to Issue Twenty-Six.

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. 

 

 

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Brad Trumpfheller is a writer & bookseller from the South, currently living in Boston. With Nabila Lovelace, they are the co-editor of Divedapper. Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming from DIAGRAM, Colorado Review, West Branch, the Nation, and elsewhere.