Coming Back Down

Donovan McAbee

The power of suggestion,
a need for release,
or what was it landed me

flat on my back against
the cold concrete floor
of that little storefront church?

The preacher uttering sounds
disconnected from language
over my laid-out body

as that high and lonesome gospel
lifted me elsewhere, beyond
the trials of my teenaged self.

Mama helped me stagger to the car,
weak-kneed and Spirit-drunk
when the worship service ended.

I’d never been to a church like that.
I don’t know what it was
made the preacher single me out.

Maybe I looked an easy target,
or maybe he read on my face the signs
of someone in need of a good dose of wonder.

Whatever it was, that afternoon,
as we drove through the mountains,
I couldn’t stop crying for the beauty of it all.