Something That Identifies Him as God

Two monstrances and a holy water tank depicting Christ’s baptism in the Jordan, printmaker: Pietro Ruga, after a drawing by: Lorenzo Roccheggiani, publisher: Pietro & Giuseppe Vallardi

I saw him looking up at her
and what she was doing
the way the eyes of saints are painted

when they are looking up at God
when he is doing something remarkable,
something that identifies him as God.

—Billy Collins, “Love”

For our honeymoon—
my second marriage, her third—
my wife and I gave ourselves Santa Fe.
A week in June and a convertible rent-a-car,
so of course we went to a casino. Then
searched out the Church at Chimayo where

I downed holy water and prayed to be healed.
Turns out, it’s the dirt that’s holy. Not the water.
There were cast-off crutches in the rooms of stone
you walk down into and through. I got carried away
and drank from the fountain labeled Holy Water—
I’m not Catholic, so some forbearance. Anyway,

what happened after isn’t proof positive, but
it’s something that identifies him as God Almighty
because I lost the love of Drink. It simply left me.
I mean, I’m Appalachian and so I drank early.
At 5, I’d persuaded my Holy Roller granny
to key-open a can of Budweiser just for me.

Then it hardly matters, except every so often,
if there is a God enthroned and paying attention.
I mean, you pray and shit happens and you count
yourself lucky or lucky enough to get to honeymoon
in Santa Fe in June where you wander into Grace
on top of the sort of luck you don’t fuck with.