The Congregation Sings “How Great Thou Art”
Consider all the worlds. A black fly drones
above our heads as we hymn, a stubborn
whine in our ears. The projector overheats,
belts out a low angry whir, its rectangle
of empty light burning blankly into the wall.
The song leader is waving her hands at us
like a big band conductor. We imagine God
swatting her from His ear with a church fan.
We’ve searched so long for something
that worthy of praise. The fly dive-bombs
her eye, & she flails the church’s electric swatter:
with a zap, the fly fizzles & falls still on the screen,
its translucent wing outstretched, lit up
on the wall like stained glass.
Brandon Thurman is the author of the chapbook Strange Flesh (Quarterly West, 2018). His poetry can be found or is forthcoming in Nashville Review, Ninth Letter, RHINO, The Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and others. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with his husband and son. You can find him online at brandonthurman.com or on Twitter @bthurman87.