Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 1
Her voice behind my ear:
He will come soon.
Don’t be afraid.
We’ve sent for him,
He’ll save you. Even now.
Believe, she said
But, fevered, I could not.
I had no strength.
I knew him as a boy.
I breathed away my soul
And swallowed joy.
An echo in the dark.
Light flowed between stone,
blood moved inside my veins.
I watched the narrow slit of rock from rock
widen like a woman’s legs. Fire licked my bones.
I coughed and choked and breathed again
the foul air of this earth. My jaw was bound:
I could not stretch to scream.
His voice like lightning in my heart. So bright!
Messiach, I believe. I understand:
Dying I dreamed that death would be a dream.
Now waked, I stumbled toward your fearsome light.
She said, He will come soon.
And when he did, he called my name
and brought me into evening light that grayed
to darkness as I walked across the plain,
swathed in my death rags, stinking like the tomb.
My sisters washed my body down
until the stench was gone
then left me, dreamless
in my perfumed room.
The Nazarene long dead.
And I, undying, stand upon this shore,
Mud sucking on my feet. Come forth! he said.
And grown old, I obey.
I watch the sun dance, red
Across the mirror of this inland sea.
I walk in water tepid as the womb
to sink below the surface, as I did
ten thousand days gone by
since I first died.
The sun is glorious beneath the waves.
It breaks and fractures into golden streams.
Before my soul escaped, I wished
To live forever in the mind of g-d.
But he rejected me and threw me back.
Now I, outliving all, will have my dream
Within this place of silt and clinging mud.
I’ll breathe thick water, swirling, silty, dark
And live forever here: his sacred fish.
If you would have me do this, look at me.
I would remove my veil for you, undress
so you could beat your wings upon my breasts
untouched by g-d or man.
is hard to bear. Do angels dream of flesh?
Or is the cleaving of the air enough
for creatures woven from the blinding sky?
O I would touch you if I could.
I'd knot my fingers in your windblown hair.
but could I be enveloped in your wings
and place this ear against your chest
what would I find?
Do messengers of Adonai have hearts
and running blood through feather-laden veins?
Or are you creatures built
of whistling wind, the sound the world makes
turning in his hands?
No. if I must do this thing then let me look
at you: a shimmer at the corner
of my eye is not enough: whose voice
beloved, whispers in my brain.
So touch me, angel.
Make your breath His
hands. I drop my veil
for Him. Am I not fair?
My hair is loose
that no man's ever known.
I feel g-d stir inside me.
Blood and air
live in this body now
and I demand:
if He would do this to me
touch me here.
© Eamonn Lorigan