How to Feed a God

Whatever the meal, He likes it well-done.
A char around the fatty edge,
an unmistakable burn into human flesh.
He’ll take fish if he has to—although
He prefers the smoky ash
of a throatslit lamb
or a turtledove traded in for a few dollar bills
and an earthworm. My sisters
were baptized together—both entered
water with eyes wide open
on the bank of the Muskantine. With arms crossed,
they were submerged as witches
and came out coughing, with nary
a spikehole or confession between them.
They were then wrapped in towels, and shivered
while we sang a quiet hymn.

They were silent on the way home.
No one talked of the water, the way light
broke hard off the surface undulation.

No one whispered a word
about lives caught up in flame.
No one spoke of the deer,
wet and drawing gar
at the water’s soft edge.

About Timothy Black

Timothy Black’s first poetic novella, Connecticut Shade, is in its second printing through WSC Press. He teaches poetry at Wayne State College, and is a Cave Canem Fellow. He lives in Wakefield, Nebraska with his wife and two sons. Timothy’s work has appeared in the anthologies The Logan House Anthology of 21st Century American Poetry, The Great American Roadshow, and Words Like Rain. He has been published in The Platte Valley Review and at, has poems forthcoming in Breadcrumb Scabs, Clean Sheets and Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine and has won an Academy of American Poets prize for his poem Heavy Freight.

Leave a Reply