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When all the wild, humanity stricken have passed, Jesus will no longer be a dancer.
“Bramble Billy smoked cigarettes fast. He moaned and screamed at things. To be loved and to be Bramble Billy was hard. Asking questions, big questions barbed and straight. Always pulling strong on his cigarettes, a deep, explosive twinkle in his eye.
He ate cheap tuna right out of the can, cottonseed oil running down his chin, that horribly true grin; like a seafaring vampire gorging on tuna blood and exclamations -- damning or heartbreaking over things spiritual; in love.
“Why are our fathers never poets?”
“God created the earth, all of it, so shit reverently my friend, it’s all sacred; darkness and light.”
“Father O’Kelly snatched me up when I was a little bugger and thumped my skull, sayin’, “Billy boy you quit callin’ little Alice a twit prostitute, we’re never knowin’ where is the grace, hell boy it could be anywhere.”
I never felt completely comfortable or safe in his presence. When he finally succumbed to himself and died outside, screaming love songs at a homeless encampment, his brain hemorrhaging – I knew that a little piece of grace had gone.”
From ‘Bramble Billy’ and Other Stories’ by Franklin Cincinnatus