Leveler Poetry Journal
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For New Manifestations of the Godhead


Becky asks you to dinner. A howl that shatters mountains
follows you around as you try on a dress made of light.
You emerge from a river to feel your face burst into flowers.
You search for your lost sons and find them full grown. Becky knows
you can find fresh fruit in the dead of winter. You pick up storm
language on your car radio. Strip malls. A nail salon smolders.
Storefronts twist into dragon faces. Woodland creatures line up
at the roadside to bow as you drive past. A luminous snarl.
Across the sky. Becky calls. You are late. You are stuffing
strawberries into shopping carts. You are approaching middle
age sanely, but it never approaches you. Annoying, the way
no one can hear your name without bleeding from the ears.
A persistent howl. The dude with the lightning helmet,
skateboarder of suburban tennis courts you share
your bed with. Some nights. Becky calls. You are still late.
She is old, condenses the years into a half-hour conversation.
You can’t understand what happened. Flash of fangs
in your rearview. It rains. Your hair grows several inches.
On the radio, smoky voices address you. Becky doesn’t call,
and the strawberries remain ageless. Over a horizon
of half-pipes the lightning-helmed lord ascends on his golden
skateboard. Every million years or so you see the wolf
devour the sky. You return to your apartment and pack quietly
for the trip back home.

Matt Broaddus