/a sandy

In the beginning God created the animal
of our bodies, the beasts of the earth,

the hungry thing that would someday watch
from the cut-back tree line

as two people undress under a starless sky,
bend the tall grass beneath

their slow weight, ready to feast
or be feasted on. Its heavy head lifts

to smell the salt-sweat dripping
from their bodies into the thick air,

roadside dirt. Lost in the press of sharp
weeds that dig into flesh, the sting

and bite of invisible insects, the reckless
human need to be made and unmade

again, they don’t notice God
place his hand on the mouth of the beast.

They become temporary saints
on the side of an Alabama highway,

finding the thin thread of why
the earth hasn’t yet burned

out and clinging to it.