Late Sunday morning, I drive hungover
through autumn mountains riotous with color.
On one exposed hill, a tall white cross
with a sign that reads—the offer still stands.
I take the Countryside Barbeque exit where
southern churchgoers crowd for swine
their God called unclean and utterly forbade.
On the menu, livermush of which I’m offered
a sample for pretending I knew not what it was.
A soft, fried square, a salty, bitter nibble
that is first remembrance and then song.
There should be some good things said
about not having much. Before cashmere
sweaters, electric cars, organic food stores--
meals of beef liver God commanded
the Israelites to sacrificially remove along
with the fat and kidneys. Organs he created
to hold and filter poisons from the body.
But we had crowded into the unholy city
living on prayer and low wage. A few dollars
bought large slices of red liver, yellow onion,
a sack of white rice. The hand that fed us
waving a pointed finger in sermon, teaching us
liver had iron and copper, good for the blood.