I found salvation here on this
winding blacktop, searching for Jesus
along a busted up county road lined by shacks
and doublewide high-rises on six-foot block
arching backsides to the world.
An Assembly of God—
open house neighborhood of missing glass
and shredded siding fanning the wind
of failed preachers who yell, Hallelul-jah!
when a Baptist church dons new white paint.
Memorial paid in a heaving sorrow.
A circling buzzard spies a naked oak eating
from table rock, drawing its resin as clean
as the old ‘shine stilled in secret caves,
sustenance as deep and raw and calculated
as the whizz calling dibs on cemetery plots
and breathing paranoia deep into lungs
of former minstrels looking for their song.
John 3:16 reads a field drive entrance
pointing “The Way” to cultivate
sorghum and sleep on God
and skeletal goats for barter or slaughter
healing heathens to remission
simply by driving through.