Heavy drops of cold rain pockmark the face of summer earth, aerating the dry soil. I close my eyes and listen to the greedy ground gulping, slurping, slaking her thirst. Mother Nature isn’t minding her manners and I’m turned on by her lack of self-control. She’s a brazen temptress staring up at me, wiping her seductive mouth with the back of her hand. She’s had a lot of experience with men and knows that I want to run into her with open arms, feel her, smell her geosmin breath, let her make me wet. But the gray matter of the sky is a jealous god, synapsing with orgastic blue veins and green capillaries of lightening, stopping my heart and respiration in exchange for a pleasurable priapism.
Dimming darkness. A sudden loss of hearing. Ringing in my ears.
Shadows with substance.
Whispers in the wall. Accusatory.
Nauseating déjà vu.
My soul, in the midst of a famine, is lost and without remedy in a desert place. I haven’t eaten in days. All I want to do is sleep. Thunder shakes my mattress and pulls me from my bed like a good friend, encouraging me to slip into a pair of jeans and step outside for some fresh air.
The flickering excommunicated priest inside of me switches on and off, on and off.
Off and ON.
In the 600th year of Noah’s life it began to rain…
The windows of heaven are open, cleansing this neglected corner of the city, baptizing us all. A miniature flash flood on Stewart Lane is spilling and splashing in strong currents toward a storm drain. Condoms, bottle caps, cigarette butts, speeding tickets, divorce papers float toward the waiting rats. There are different levels of hell. Above the streets and below.
Never again will the LORD destroy the earth with a flood. His promise was signed in the clouds, so His rainbow reminds us. Listen up all you frenzied rats piling upon one another in the sewer—gnaw away!—you’re no different than a cockroach tickling an addicts’s ear, or flies swarming to carrion, or buzzards ripping out human eyes from their sockets in time of war: you are the refuse of the serpent of old. The LORD will destroy you with fire and your buck teeth will squeal with rage at the sky. Then you will die. I am looking forward to the death of death. When the lion will lay down with the lamb. There will be no more tears.
A female voice singing off key. A child crying.
A vision too horrible to tell, constricting my throat, stealing my scream.
My stomach twists in a knot.
Find the cross find the cross find the cross
Hold onto it.
fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…
Oh God, please damn help me!
where are you where are you where are you where are you
Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus…
•. •. •
Father Campbell? This is Dr. Quiaoit.”
“Can you hear me?”
“You’re at Mercy Hospital. You’ve been struck by lightening.”