Grassy Branch Pentecostal Church,
Face of Christ on Tin
nailed up, it closes the gape where a stovepipe
passed into the wall. This sheet metal square
a rivet-punched messiah you hope will keep
out the winds, the griefs—with his thin beard
the color of puffball soot, multiflora rose
for a crown. His spooky eyes count the few
gathered here to cut out the prayer cloths,
to pat and squeeze their faith into the rags.
You brave blow-downs, the spreading ice.
Behind his dented tin, the cold howling night
could fray you bare. Holly-berries smashed
into his brow, this flea market savior hides
from you the absences, the ravenous hole.