after Clyde Broadway

To make me want to love the South
with even a provisional affection, a robed
and haloed White Christ extends a pair

of spike-pierced palms, the One God
afloat on rose-pink clouds in an afterlife
in which old times there are not forgotten.

At the left hand of Our Lord, in uniform,
the Confederacy’s commander-in-chief
wears his shame like a campaign ribbon.

To his right, a loves-his-mother Elvis Aron
Presley has been hauled up, dusted off,
and reborn as young and unautopsied—

dressed in a Las Vegas wing-collared shirt.
I want Richmond and Memphis to exchange
dahlia-red skylines with cities on fire in Hell,

the foul air to fill up with a flutter of crows.
The painting says we’re mostly made of light,
starlight. That if flesh shines, it also travels.


Artwork: Trinity by Clyde Broadway