Glass Poetry Press

Volume Five Issue Two

Laurie Barton

Word Over the World

When he began preaching the Word, it floored us — as if he'd grabbed a bicycle and gone to Chile with a holy book and clean white shirt. As if he'd moved to Qeqertaq, Greenland, to study the delicate lichen. We couldn't believe it — not his mother who flew to Minnesota to inspect his shelves, nor his father who blamed the shrinks that weakened him to the point where believers could nab him — such a bleakness stirred him that death and hell seemed as tame as a broken Tilt-a-Whirl. Soon he wore suits and carried the Word and spoke in tongues and prevailed. That summer he sat me down and taught me the key, from Leviticus to Deuteronomy. Then he fought devil spirits that wouldn't let go, that dashed him in sparkling caverns of appetite.