That Young Man

Dear God,
whom I have come to less and less understand,
dear God Dear God,
whose vast almighty hand evaporated into myth
dear god I do believe
that lonesome young man
caught you dragonfly desert cactus bloom beautiful
caught you like a woman catches AIDS
catches love
Only this possession couldn’t be passed on.
He caught you, incommunicable disease.
I see him sometimes, even though my eyes
are deliberately averted—I see him
sitting in that hot sun on the stone edge
of that well talking to that sizzling woman
who insulted him and him thirsty and mad as a
I mean crazy, else how could he sit there talking,
passing time of day illegally, with a woman.
God, he told her his secret. Who he was,
who he thought he was,
and where it was likely to take him,
who I think he was beginning to suspect he was,
and scared crazy in the blister of that heat
by what he knew and what he had not,
until that moment, ever said.

From The Weight of Love (Negative Capability Press, 2019) by Pat Schneider. Copyright © 2019 by Pat Schneider. Used with the permission of the Estate of Pat Schneider.