To keep his blessed armor hard he ate
                                lean meat, cruciferous greens, few
                                grains. He liked his instants
parceled out in reps and sets, and he was glad
to dangle like an ape from an iron bar, admiring
his bicep bulge (amen): He worked hard
                the slant board, the oblique
                                twist, and his own form
waxed and polished, his house a bleached vault
where he lit votive candles to the clear
persistence of his little self though no one else
                                showed up. He liked
                                the slammed door, the map’s red line, to stomp
a clutch, to clutch the black wheel, to wheel
away in steaming rage.

                                                He was a preacher fond
of Revelation. His truth was slant,
his facts oblique. He sought a righteous girl, articulate,
                                whose slang he could steal
                                for his opaque and soporific sermons—
a girl all clean and bare in her nethers with mouth
of Cupid’s bow—someone
to dress in white and hold
                                struggling under water, to warp

the iron of, till she melted. To her
he gave and gave. He gave all
                                the all he had, which wasn’t much.