Where is this god you speak of?https://i0.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/E8D23C9E-982D-4CC7-970F-E83B93FABB48.jpeg?fit=1280%2C1920&ssl=112801920Michael GarriganMichael Garriganhttps://barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/michaelgarrigan.jpg
It was the word “god” that tore me apart
after you said he punishes those that
masturbate. I was 13. I never valued cruelty.
That word packed full of punishment and doubt and trust
but what is there to trust about the injustice of mayflies
caught in a trap of fluorescent flood lights?
That word filled like the low part of a fallow field.
Mud. Moldy stalks. Water spiders flicking across murk.
But I stepped in I sank and lost my shoe.
And I lose language and I follow bats in dusk
and crack mint leaves in my chest pocket.
And I follow subtle breezes and the way silver maples and oak
and sweetgum create a horizon of swaying green above my garage.
And god is just another word for now is just another word for the streak of a dead bug on my windshield and the hawk on that telephone pole and that cracked skin stretched across the back of my hand and that thought of Montana that soaks cereal each morning and that back-up beep of the recycling truck as it gets closer to start its day at the dead end street outside my bedroom window and I can’t hear it now because the robins cardinals sparrows and bluebirds wake up earlier and call forth another sun for us mayflies to get caught in.
Michael Garrigan lives along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania where he explores its tributaries with a fly rod, teaches high school English, and writes. He holds a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh and a MA in English & Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. His work has previously appeared in publications such as Gray’s Sporting Journal, The Wayfarer, The Drake Magazine, Piedmont Journal of Poetry & Fiction, and San Pedro River Review. You can find more of his writing at www.raftmanspath.com.