This is a Spiritual War, you’ve got to understand that,
says the man on NPR. I’m getting out of my car
when his voice grabs hold, pulls me toward the dial.
My son died last week, he says, Humvee hit a mine—
it’s a Spiritual War. Anybody who doesn’t believe
me, just look right there in the Bible, you’ll see.
Right there, I say to him—yeah, like the Word is some dog-eared
road atlas. Just thumb down the index to Spiritual Warfare,
subheading Iraq, and you’ll see it all mapped out
right there waiting for you. No interpretation
required. Look right there and you’ll know how
to deploy, when to attack, where to stand when
it all goes down. My wife calls from the porch and I release
my stranglehold on the steering wheel. How long
have I sat, car door ajar, one foot grounded, parsing
this man’s language of loss? Oblique rays
of dusk cut swaths of light across the meadow,
halted only at pasture’s edge by a stand
of sweet gums. The trees reach, lean into the light,
pulling me with them; thus we bend,
blind pilgrims all, tilting
toward a New Jerusalem.