“I wait the resurrection of the dead
the way other people await weekend
football.” Charles Baxter
The church, if that’s what you wanted
to call it, was a shack with electricity.
Had folding chairs for the faithful,
the drunks, and the infirm who wandered
in, not sure what awaited them inside.
Has a brass spittoon for “Donations
Gratefully Accepted” though it rarely
felt the rattle of spare change. The self-styled,
right reverend proprietor called himself,
Preacher Ball, formerly known as Odd Ball,
in a previous life as a predicate felon.
Had a rap sheet longer than the
10 Commandments, most of which he
had broken on more than one occasion.
Liked to say, “I lived the lyrics of a Johnny
Cash song, killed folks just to watch them
die, now I try to save their immortal souls.”
Wore his violent past on his skin, intravenous
drug use scars over collapsed veins,
the hieroglyphics of a user’s life.
Was illustrated with profane images everywhere
the scars were not; two lives superimposed
on each other as if he were a human palimpsest,
madness rampant in his still dead eyes.