separating the wheat from the chaff,
moving along from one dumpster to the next,
pulling out slabs of salmon steak from one behind a restaurant
and an alluminium cage with a fluff of woodshavings
on the bottom of it from another beside an apartment complex.
Later, he will toss chunks of salmon to a mob of cats
and find, buried beneath the shavings in the cage,
the barely breathing body of a pink and white furry mass.
He will place his finger behind its neck and press softly,
and the mouse will shiver slightly and open its mouth.
Then God will dip honey from a jar with a spoon,
take a dab on his fingertip, and smear it across the mouth
and the long, protruding teeth of the dying mouse.
Then he will take a drop of water on his finger
and put it into the mouth, mixing honey with water.
He will feel the belly of the mouse, and the
lift the body up to his mouth. He will
blow gently into the mouth of the mouse his own breath.
But the mouse no longer stir. God says
that the spirit of the mouse has already left,
though it may yet decide to return,
and that maybe it's for the best,
because the mouse was suffering here in this life.
He returns the body of the mouse to the shavings in the cage,
and tells me that he had a friend once named Mel
who had been in a terrible car accident,
and after much suffering for a long time,
finally died. I say that's sad. He
says no, not really, because his friend was
possibly reborn into another body on the very day
he died, and is better off now, new and fresh, ready
to begin his next life. The next day,
when God comes inside the house to take a bath,
he brings with him a telephone he found that morning.
He says some college kids threw away several of them.
He says you can sell them back to Bell sometimes
if they're still in good condition. As he bathes,
I plug it in and listen to the dead sounds
coming through the line, into the phone God has found.
When God has finished with his bath, he goes back outside
to the garage, where his little black dog is tied,
and begins a low and calm conversation with the dog,
telling him he's going to have to rearrange some things here.
He lights a Gauloise and sets to work in the garage,
moving about junk and propping up an old mattress
he's set in the doorway, in front of his bed on the ground.
For winter's coming on, it's already November, and God
knows even he needs protection from the stiff north wind.
Besides, he knows too there are small aircraft around,
and a certain Cessna that follows him. They're
watching him even now. He knows. He's God.
But it doesn't matter because the process has already begun.
He's been to New Mexico and seen, in Carlsbad Caverns,
bodies that, after many centuries, have arisen from stone there.
The government, of course, is keeping this under wraps.
There's another thing too he's noticed and hets us in on.
The plants have changed in the last week or so,
and the earth has finally regained its soul.
Then he decides to tell us who he is, if we haven't yet guessed,
even though he knows, he says, that because of this
he may lose his temporary shelter inside our garage.
He is who he says he is, he says, and is absolutely
not a paranoid schizophrenic. He knows he
is one with God in The Light Of Creation, and is himself
the light of creation that we see and feel when we
ourselves have come near to God in His blessedness on the earth.
And how will we respond to that? Well,
first we will rub linseed oil into the dry, diseased skin
of our dog, who has lost most of his hair this summer.
And we will do this because God, who loves dogs, has,
in his infinite wisdom and authority, suggested it,
and told us that it would restore to him his natural lustrous coat
and also interfere with the breeding cycle of the fleas
which are now feeding and laying their eggs on him.
We will take this word for it. He's God. He knows.
And we will allow him to remain and to sleep
in our garage for another few days, while this weather holds.
Because, even to God, the world is now cold.
And, if we can understand nothing else he tells us, almost,
we do, at least, know this.