- Language Barrier
If ever I witnessed a miracle, it was here, straddlingtwo worlds: platitudes and faux-wood pews, stainedshag rug over loose linoleum in one, the other endlessdesert, cracked mud like bad plaster, south side
of the Rio Grande. And though he spokein ingles, and though they mixed theirs with español,they shuddered an eerie laughter, weepingin what they later called joy, dancing intoxicated
in the Spirit to the warbling guitar, their eyeswide as tambourines. A woman I knew was deafand mostly mute, whom I'd worked with a few weeksin a cafeteria outside Santa Fe, stood, this shy girl,
while people spoke—as they say—in tongues—Hai-ala-cha-ma-la-na-sing-hai-na—the itinerant pastorhandled a rattler, its head the size of a child's fist,diamond-shaped, bobbing. He met her as she rose
from her seat, and bid her take it. She took itslow but without hesitation. It went limp in her handsand she spun, holding it over her head. You could seeshe had forgotten herself, blinded by an interior
light. When she came to, she handed it back.Amen, said the people. She looked at him. "I hear,"she said. "My ears! I hear!" The world made new.I was there yet I did not hear, not understand a thing. [End Page 29]
Chad Prevost has authored two full-length collections and two anthologies. His forthcoming collection is Life's White Machine. He serves as publisher and editorial director of C&R Press. His creative work is in print in the Huffington Post, Mid-American Review, Puerto Del Sol, Seattle Review, Sentence, Southern Review, and City of the Big Shoulders (Iowa UP).