(Pass Christian, Mississippi)
But a relic
to the lowest
in the chapel
of sun, cloud,
moon and star,
in stark repose,
the wind strums,
through the horror
of a gaping
(deep East Texas)
The darkness recoils
from the seizure
of his crowing.
with the raw,
of his comb.
the filthy yellow
of his feet.
vivify the dreams
In the company of hens
in his legendary
Though conceived by rape in a place where a thimbleful
of blackness was tantamount to the volume of a bushel,
her mother still carried her to term and had her
by natural childbirth. After the rape, her mother
was never the same, absentmindedly indulged in meth,
and passed the damage to the mind of Baby Ruth.
Despite the terrible odds against her, with God’s grace,
Baby Ruth made it to adulthood, and with the optimal use
of compromised intelligence, earned her keep as the church’s
cleaning lady. She still works there, left in her bléssed lurch
of gray, a strange angel absent either wing or horn
whose hands, groping in the darkness of rubber gloves, turn
filth into the immaculate conception of cleanliness,
leaving the sanctuary bejeweled with the bliss
of light flowing like waterfalls through panes of stained glass,
shattering the mirrors of pews with shotgun-blasted godliness.
Larry D. Thomas is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, and served as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. As If Light Actually Matters: New & Selected Poems, was issued by Texas Review Press in 2015. WEB