The Age of Belief

This year I will have outlived my Savior.
Not for want of effort. Another friend
of the Hebrew persuasion told me that
the Age of Belief will never come back.
But I’m not so sure. The New Age centurion
– probably from Colorado – said he knew
Your Cure was good and You said, “Hey now,
you do you! See? This crackpot gets it.”

This other guy had spent decades collecting
hems and touching them all. He said, “He
healed me many times and then one day He
stopped,” and quoting Bonhoeffer, as if I
didn’t know it, “The world has come of age,”
and then he placed the piano wire around
his neck. It wasn’t mounted anywhere, though,
so he just walked away with his foot on the
damper into an old age of minimum wage at
the Family Dollar. Sad. Let’s talk revival.

There was a man seduced by a Mormon woman.
He figured it out the hard way. He recognized
the Wal-Mart in Ephraim, Utah, but he knew
something noncanonical was up at the Super 8
in ‘Nephi’. Then he hollered out, “All these
garrison and Queen Anne houses don’t fool me!
You’re them latter-day New Englander witch
doctors!” And he made haste for Dixie, Utah
to find some good ol’ African hoodoo pralines.
Mama Africa kept another white man orthodox.

Hallelujah! What would we do without our
swamps! But they say those are receding, as
well. Allegedly the Age of Belief took us as
far as 1865, then left us all unre-
constructed on either other side of Jordan.
Allegedly the Spirit of revolution over the
Word of discipline was the source of the schism.
And then Spirit was apostasy and the Word,
Scopes’ monkey. And allegedly I will have
outlived my Savior by this time next year, or
however I may count a life from Mithra’s
birth to Canaan’s Pesach on an Aztec calendar.

Mmm. Spoken well. Spoken like a Primitive
Baptist in an anechoic Primitive Baptist
Church. That’s how I want it. I want the
whispering gallery of St. Paul’s to float
up to heaven with the whispered burlesque
jokes of the masses. You and I, we’ll be in
our muffled prefabricated chapel in Alabama.
The one with them daggum raccoons that keep
chewin’ up the cherries next to the dogwood.
Dogwood. That’s a good solid cross-makin’
wood. You’re a good, solid cross, dogwood.
I don’t care what they say about you. I won’t
believe what I hear, in an Age of Belief.

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