Jeremiah Gannon finds the face of Jesus in his grilled cheese sandwich.
He does not eat Jesus.
He takes Jesus aside. He whispers to Jesus. He tells Jesus lies, on and on and on, until the Jesus in the grilled cheese sandwich forgets the way the world ought to be.
A wave of silver washes out across the world. It drowns the things that Jeremiah Gannon does not know.
Pakistan — erased.
Micronesia — no more.
There are no languages but English and a smattering of French. The Jews and the Muslims grow the appurtenances of evil. The atheists vanish screaming beneath the Earth. Women and the browner people learn to act in such a fashion as would please Jeremiah Gannon.
And if they do not, why, they should have known better than to play with the fire of his disdain.
Some oppose him.
Some have guns. Others, rockets. One has a tortilla with the sacred image of Mary upon its face.
They do not survive.
One by one Jeremiah Gannon removes them all.
Jesus grows a beard of green.
Jesus grows a beard of green and every day Jeremiah Gannon scrapes it off, and his whispering goes on.
Organically there rises in the west the great wall of Jeremiah Gannon and on its peak his fortress and he makes three terrible guards to keep it safe.
There is the swallowing man, whose vast mouth devours rivers, valleys, cities, and hills.
He walks the world and his gullet is never full.
There is the giant of the serpent hair. He will dangle his victims screaming over his head; and then drop them, and they will fall among the writhing snakes and bitterly will they know their final hour.
The last of them is the blind swordsman.
People say that he’s a warrior that Jeremiah Gannon saw once on TV. That even without his great armor, twelve feet in height and two feet thick, with its steam powered engine that helps him move and belches forth its noxious smoke, that the blind man would be fierce.
We do not know.
These are the guardians of the fortress of Jeremiah Gannon, who whispers to the Jesus on his grilled cheese sandwich to make his dreams to truth and causes the silver ocean of the unexamined ignorance to wash across the world.
Something stands in Heaven and watches the silver lake.
It is not a tide in Heaven.
Heaven is outside of time and space. The ocean of Jeremiah Gannon does not spread. Rather it sits in puddles where it has always sat in puddles, silver and slick.
The thing in Heaven watches a poodle in the lake.
The silver liquid clings to the poodle. It weights it down. The poodle is struggling to escape.
The silver liquid closes over the face of the poodle.
The poodle sinks and it is gone.
So the creature that has been watching turns to God, who is always there, and says, “I would travel.”
And God gives him back a body, young and lean.
This is the angel, the glorious angel.
He is short.
He is wearing green pants and a green jacket; and behind it, wings.
He has feet to walk with, hands to hold a sword, and eyes to see. But he does not have a name and he does not have memory and he does not yet have sin.
He says, “I would have my name, and my memories, and my sin.”
But his body distances him from God.
He does not know why it is that God does not answer this prayer.
So he sets his feet on the Long Road that runs around and between and among Heaven, Earth, and Time, and he begins to walk.
In Oregon he finds a community of Quakers in a terrible plight.
Islamist heretics besiege them.
Driven mad and twisted in their forms by the whispering of Jeremiah Gannon, the Islamists are no longer human. Their motivations alien and a senseless desire for conquest imputed into them, they build barricades and engines and they fence the Quakers in.
Every day they pour in a river of oatmeal from every side.
They seek to drown the people of peace.
And the angel says, “Fear not.”
And he moves among the Islamist heretics like death, and they explode where they fall, and the barricades blast down.
And when he is done there is a sound like the ringing of bells in the silence of the world.
And the Quakers draw close and they touch him.
Some touch him like those who are witness to a miracle; and others touch him with pity, because he kills.
And they say, “Were those not human creatures, friend?”
But the angel haveth no knowledge of good or evil. He looks at them with his blank green eyes. He says, “They were to thee; and to me; but not to Jeremiah Gannon.”
Now he finds himself troubled as he walks.
The explosions of the heretics as they died have reminded him of something strange.
So he cups his hands and he blows on them.
A bomb arises.
He wonders why this should seem so terribly familiar.
pause. a beat. the second canto tomorrow or Thursday.