for Jair Cortés

He said he suffered a strange affliction
for a parish priest: God dyslexia—
He only saw the hand of the divine
behind the drug-cartel dystopia
that had replaced his city, his chosen hell,
and wished God had the courage to forget
humanity, and asked me if I thought
that God in fact did not possess free will.

Because my Spanish falters when I’m tired,
I might’ve slipped and said God was la puerta
instead of muerto. He called me a liar.
God, he said, was like a cholera
we don’t attempt to cure, a nonsense word
we pass on like a cough into a crowd.

Brian Brodeur is the author of Natural Causes and Other Latitudes, as well as the chapbooks Local Fauna and So the Night Cannot Go on Without Us. New poems, essays, and interviews have been published or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry (online), The Missouri Review, River Styx, The Southern Review, and The Writer’s Chronicle. Brian curates How a Poem Happens, an online anthology of over 200 interviews with poets.
*Photo courtesy of mbaca001.
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