The Love of Jesus is a thrift warehouse on the Southside of town. Everything inside is a dollar. On Mondays & Fridays, everything is fifty cents. A stormy afternoon in June & I drift for hours down the aisles: bread machines & coffee pots. Shirts & shoes. Teetering stacks of mismatched dinnerware. I am studying a cup whose crackled glaze is the pale blue-green of beach glass. Two lions chase one another around its fragile eternity, the way the lover pursues the beloved on the ancient urn; their manes & legs washed in a preternatural purple & gold. Behind me, a woman tells her son William to get up from the floor so that she can measure him against a pair of little boys’ jeans. When he doesn’t rise, she tells him, she is going to start counting. She says she is only going to count to two. When I look over, he is already on his feet at silent attention, his arms outstretched from his sides. I live in an attic apartment above two women who have been unemployed as long as I have known them. This week the last of their benefits has been unexpectedly terminated by the state. A drop in the overall number of jobless automatically triggers the cessation of extensions, the letter that comes in the mail explains. Outside, thunder cracks. Later, the streets will be full of limbs. Heraclitus believed that in the beginning creation simply bubbled forth, an inevitable percolating stream—logos, both reason & word—issuing from a source unseen. Sometimes I feel a sudden sorrow, as though my own emotions were a room I’d forgotten why I entered. My mother struck me only once— for refusing to put on my coat. I was four years old & she had been scrubbing motel rooms all day. I’d fallen asleep in the dark on a low shelf in the linen closet beside the boxes of little pink soaps. Today, that shelf is gone & the great white polar caps are melting. At Kasungu National Park in Malawi, a drought has caused the lions to turn on the rangers whose job it is to protect them. Our skulls are chipped bowls, broken globes, we plunge into the flow. Heraclitus, whom the crash of time has left in fragments, saw in the cosmos a harmony of tensions. Imagine the lyre, he wrote, & the bow. The store radio plays satellite gospel. A hymn with the chorus Every moment you shall be judged is followed by one in which the choir shouts Praise! Stand up and be forgiven.