The Liquor Store Delivery Driver Considers Theology

By Andrew Hemmert

From what I can tell, most of the drivers believe in God,
and a god is a good thing to have if driving is your job.
At the end of the interview, my soon-to-be boss told me
a motorcyclist hit one of our cars going ninety
in a forty-five. Died instantly. Our driver survived
but couldn’t shake it. The EMTs held the helmet like a bowl
so the motorcyclist’s head wouldn’t fall out. When I drove
I was almost hit dozens of times. In Denver no one stops
for red lights, not immediately, and otherwise they’re drifting
out of their lanes, distracted by the mountains, or distracted
by wildfire smoke where the mountains used to be. Are mountains
or smoke a more apt metaphor for God—that which conceals
or is concealed? Both take your breath away, both lift on high.
Both are the world climbing away from itself.

Andrew Hemmert is the author of Blessing the Exoskeleton (Pitt Poetry Series) and Sawgrass Sky (Texas Review Press). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various magazines, including The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, and The Southern Review. He earned his MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and currently lives in Thornton, Colorado.