Everyone you’ve ever met is God.
This explains why Sam drove
to the parking lot of the Solid Rock Church
and beneath the neon glow of the apocalyptic
red crucifix the two of you listened
to the ambient track on Downward Spiral and knew not
to say a word. This explains why a boy you didn’t know
kicked your face mid-sentence
while you sat talking shit on the beach. This explains the mercy
of the missed nose, nothing broken, a busted lip
which would get wiped and kissed.
This explains why the girl undid her black bra in your room,
why she began crying when you said
no, not this. Or not like this. Not any of this.
This explains the two men outside the dance club
who yelled faggot even though you weren’t and aren’t
but your friend is and was and he—who was also God—
said nothing in your defense (which was truly in his defense)
which was his offense as well.
This explains why someone bought a bag of fast food
and someone snatched it and someone else
saw the man steal your food and stopped him,
not even one packet of hot sauce lost.
This explains the little girl with her parents and the parents
averting their eyes because you were
so hungry, and no one wants to see such vulgar hunger
but the little girl who is every good meal on Earth says God,
that must be some taco!

And verily I say unto you it was.


⊡ ⊡ ⊡

Michael Schmeltzer earned his MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop. His honors include numerous Pushcart Prize nominations, the Gulf Stream Award for Poetry, and the Blue Earth Review Flash Fiction Prize. He runs amok on staff at A River & Sound Review and his work can be found in Rattle, [PANK], Vinyl, and Mid-American Review, among others. You can find him on Twitter at @mschmeltzer01.