- God Comes to Redemption, Mississippi
His voice enters first. Deep, sonorous, resonating syllables as solemn as aprophet with Morgan Freeman's voice reading Amos or Job.
With his first footfall in the Delta, he fills space with an arboretum of spicesand glow. Angel trumpets, sweet oliv e, and telosma perform a floral symphony.
Looking sharp, a black cashmere overcoat thrown over his shoulders,he wears a blue onyx ring inscribed with the names of the stars.
He leads four lions, on leashes with comets flashing, rapping vespers. Whenhe laughs, his teeth are salt and light. His glance welcomes a diasporafrom Babylon.
Bystanders down country roads reach out to him; a touch of his hem bringssoothing salve. But he speaks to them only in verbs in the future perfect tense.
At dawn, he arrives at the Eternal Gate Holiness Church and revels in swayinghymns and waving hands; he keeps time with pleading hearts singing throughrippled cotton robes.
Old ladies in white, wearing wide-brimmed hats, sit on the front row thisSunday morning putting their prescription money in clinking plates.They leave with platters of Psalms.
Later that night he will have brought each a rose. They will sigh Emmanuel. [End Page 204]