Genesis

It begins in a garden.

It always begins in a garden.

This is one where tomatoes grow tall and yellow reeds of flowers stretch in the summer sun.  There are zucchinis for the seven year old towhead to pluck, her fine platinum hair like butter that she obsessively parts down the middle each morning.  Her hands are grubby with dirt, her skin is golden tan, and she has glasses on to help with those bookish eyes of her.  You watch from Above, or perhaps Below, your charge, as she digs for rocks.  Why do all children obsessively dig for rocks, you wonder, as her fingers dig through Virginia red clay then sculpt a bowl from the earth.  She’s making worm pies again, trying to feed the residents of the garden that fructify the earth.

It is any day on Earth, it is any day in Heaven, it is any day in Hell.

She calls you Star after Venus, the Morning Star, singing as she bakes mud and clay in the sun, telling you about her day, and you do not have the heart to tell your charge that you are in fact Lucifer the all too real Morning Star until she is twelve, and even then she screams and runs far away from you, refusing to use the name you gave her until she is twenty.  She prefers the softer sounds, Ariel, Samael, mostly just Sam.  You will tell her she sprang from the heart of Lucifer at seventeen, and you will say it is your own black heart, and that she is your progeny in the twisted ways of hope of angels in hell, but she will throw vitriol at you and deny words from the horse’s mouth.

You can see the beginning and end of her mortal life all at once, for time to you is a circle, and immortals are stuck in eternal patterns.  For now, she plays in a garden, like a girl who you once knew grew up in a much larger Garden, and who you gave your sole fruit to.  That was the greatest mistake of your life, giving the apple of your love to a beautiful woman.  You have been rotting since, a good necrosis, a true decay, with void and abyss stitched into your ribs and the sins of the world running through your blood.

You’re the original Fallen after all, first to say “I want more, I am more, I AM.”  That lie of separation.  That night, as her soul flees her body and runs to your lap, you take her on your cherubim back to yet another garden, where there are fields of slain angels.  There is an important lesson in these brethren felled at your own hands, she knows enough to know you are a slayer of angels and demons alike, only she calls them angels, for girls raised on Madeline L’Engle often confuse the two, yet you are an alien in truth, so you never correct her.

She dismounts your shoulders and slides down your back like a song, gently grabbing hold of your wings as she departs.  “Why did you bring me here, Star?” she asks softly.  “You killed again, and I wasn’t there to save you.  I’m so sorry, Star, this is all my fault…”

She clutches a bloodied buttercup, then rips it off at the stem and smashes it in her small hands, mashing the petals to fragrance and pollen.  She shakes, she cries, and you hold her in your arms and cry as well.

“Do you know what madness is?” you ask her slowly, wiping away her tears and licking the salt of her eyes.

Her lip trembles.  “Yes.  It’s when your eyes are red and your hair is black and your skin is poison.  It’s when you cry and kill, and slaughter, and Star, only I can help you then and sing to you, and then you stop.  But – but when I’m not around to save you, this happens…”  She extends her hand to the mangled limbs and shed guts of self-righteous fuckers, those winged holier-than-thou seagulls, yet your brothers all the same.

“I took you here because it is not your place to save me,” you say slowly, breaking the truth like splitting a crusty biscuit.  “This is what I am.”

“Yes, you’re Chaos.  I knew that already,” she says quietly, eyes downcast, for in her child’s mind she has already named you her equivalent of the Antichrist in a language she invented, and wrote in her seven year old gel pens a prophecy in which you will destroy the universe if she cannot help you find the Light within, well, your heart.

She understands things in Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, ultimatums.  She thinks it is her destiny to save you, to restore your Light and hold back your Darkness, and in saving you save existence itself.  Perhaps there is some truth in that, but you would never place that burden on her shoulders, for she is just a child.

Just a child that speaks to Satan, rides Heaven and Hell on his shoulders, and met him as her first memory, but no matter.  You are the Devil, and you have ruined many childhoods before her.  Or perhaps they were all iterations of the same Eve, over-curious girls with insatiable appetites for wanderlust and knowledge.  Knowledge is her favorite thing, wanderlust her favorite word.

She will wander far in her lifetime, and her knowledge will tithe her to Hell, sacrificial soul indeed.

For now, she holds you close, and says “I’ll always love you, no matter what, Star.  Let’s leave this awful place.”

You carry her away in burning arms to a planet of girl’s first wishes, and she dances with elves and fairies by the firelight, and she is at peace.

As at peace the Devil’s heart can be.

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Lionheart

The heretical hippies of Gnostic gnosis called you Ariel-Samael, the Lion-Faced Serpent, etched you on amber cabochons with sunny halo and coiling tail of smoke.  In you, last night, I saw stars of multitudes in wings of scintillating fractals of time.  You had a mane of blonde, curling hair and eyes the blue of a beastly wolf sky, skin like the gold of Solomon’s palace, and canines as sharp as the Lion of God.  Kissing you was like a mouthful of peaches and honey, and your touch on my  heart, a caress yet a gamble, was like liquid gold transformed from my mundane red blood, hemoglobin to something holy.

Ariel, my Star, you perched on my bedside this morning a winged lion, larger than any beast of furrow or field, eyes burning bright, wings fanned out like the goddess Isis in sorbet flavors that glowed with comfort.  Head arcing over my neck, furred breast my pillow, mane to comb my sorrows into, paws across my waist with talons to strike down foes, and tail twined with my toes to tickle humor into my white feet.  I remember my glassy toenails, and thought they should be painted red, and I remember your pearly teeth, your laughter and embers, wings lifting me up on pinions of want and wander.

On Sunday, you left love notes in a Wrinkle in Time and kissed me awake in Meg’s attic on a stormy winter dawn, the panes soaked in rain running like tears, lightning your heart.  You laid by my side and cradled my dreams, ran your strong fingers through my hair to touch my mind, and in the abyss of your arms, that beautiful somnambulent dreamland, I was as safe as jam aging in a Mason jar.  Oh my Prince, oh my Love, oh my Lionheart, I have a dearth of coins, but I am rich in words, and so I offer this love prose to you, pluck your feathers to write this homage, and give up my blood like wine to the beast.

You’re My Wonderwall

There’s a lion in the celestial bower, a man of honeysuckle blossoms, golden wings, and blinding light.  There’s an angel in the bedroom, dressed in goldenrod, hair platinum – you know, the kind of sunshine in a perfect summer sky, and his laughter rings like the peal of a motorcycle.  His voice is caramel, his words are molasses – smooth and sweet – and he is the picture of poise and good humor and I swear, if I lick him my mouth would be sticky with sugar.  Archangel of mercy, Angel of the Lord that held Abraham’s hand back from wounding the first of so many Prodigal Sons, emissary of benevolence and the fourth sphere of the Sephiroth.

There’s a savior in my window, dancing in tune with the summer rainstorm’s vivacious lightning.  There’s a flame of hope that awakens yearning in the darkness of my heart.  When the lion roars, it is a cry of liberation.  When the chapel bell tolls, he is the shepherd moving the masses up to the cleansing Eucharist.  He is the goblet that my wine spills over, he is the torch of heavenly fire I stole from God’s throne room, he is my star.  Older brother, twin general, bosom friend of my heart, guardian of innocence and girlhood bliss.

When he holds me, it is with the strength and sacredness of temple walls.  When our mouths quest for answers on each other’s tongues, I taste infinity to the tune of eternal joy.  Hands like milk, hands like providence, hands like silk that pick ice splinters from my soul.  Sure, the heart bleeds waters of the womb in the grip of the hearth, but he has been melting me for years, since I was seven and first saw his candle flame eyes, and every lesson in kindness, I learned from him.  He is the essence of lovingkindness and thanksgiving, of the mixed blessing of a giving heart but the curse of never having enough blood to bleed, because patience is endless, but fires need tinder, and it does not do well to burn your patients.

We’re the original hippies – the twin angels of beauty and peace.  What better pairing, like salmon with maple syrup and capers set out with chardonnay.  They say I am a champagne bubble – sparkly, bright, warm-hearted, soft, girly, loving, caring.  But if the psychics are right, and I am a champagne girl, you are the intoxication I cause.  Find us on the beach with Bruce Springsteen playing dancing around a roaring bonfire, find us braiding each other’s golden hair with bluebells – we keep it long and blonde, but that doesn’t mean we’re dumb.  Find us flying through the cosmos chasing the tails of comets and basking in celestial glows.

You can find us anywhere, really.  We’re the Freyr and Freyja of Heaven, the Lovers and Ace of Cups, bubbles and birthdays and barks of laughter you can’t contain.  No one can secret a smile for long around him – his kilowatt grin will illuminate even the darkest recesses of the coldest winter night.  The moths come flying towards his brilliance, but every dark thing is cleansed in his ultraviolet aura.  He taught me to fight, he taught me to keep frith, he taught me family and faith and fearlessness.  My animus of glorious, splendorous bravery, the one who wields the sword in times of war and the scroll in times of peace.  He’s sweet on children, answers endless questions for inquisitive young girls, and is all to happy to play make-believe with aspiring princesses.

Now I’m older, and I’m far from a princess, but my star is still a star – the most brilliant soul in the multiverse – and in the most heinous wreckage, he taught me to glow.

For what is love if you cannot share it, and who is an angel but a missionary of love?

 

Angel of Mercy

I thought you were a lion among lambs, golden
mane and braids like promise, blue eyes lambent
as the starlight whose name I christened you,
sweet Angel of Mercy, you carry sunny torches,
stoke bonfires with laughter, dance in the sand
as your bold song sails like a swan on the sea.
Ariel, Zadkiel, Sachael. I can’t choose your name.
It was borne aloft far out of reach moons ago.
All I know is that you are my twin angel, forged
in the flames of blue and violet light, haloed
and hallowed, with magenta gown and gold robes.
You waltz with me, run with me, fly with me.
Leonine Animus, Blonde Wonderboy, Golden One.
The strand of sand and foam is your dominion.
The waves and wind your birthright, general of
heavenly lightning, fiery sword and silver shield.
Hail the Angel of Righteousness. Hail the Light.

Ode to Ariel (This an Old Story – the First I Ever Lived)

You, my first love, my heart’s golden river, winged with wonder.
They say angels watch humans with envy for lips they don’t have,
for mouths of pink and rose that sing, tell, pray and even dream –
your tongue is ever-quenched by the white of the Milky Way, you swim
through the outer boundaries of space’s luminaries, I aback my angel.

You taught me how to be kind to the desolate, to cherish the weak.
Oh Ariel, Hearth of God, Light of the Lord, you are too beautiful,
and you are the elder brother and protector of my virgin heart,
unsullied by the blood you spilled on my behalf, a rain of hope
always tangles your brassy hair, your starlight splendor, my love.

You are the blessed, you are the mighty, you are the poor, burning
glory, never a joke or laugh away from a kilowatt smile, funny bone
of Heaven, I remember catching fireflies, you braiding my long hair,
taking me on adventures through the multitudinous otherworlds, sword
unsheathed and gleaming, eyes the blue of a perfect summer highway.

My winged lion, my leonine animus, how you stretch to fill darkness
that creeps into my melancholy bones, lighting fires within marrow,
we are on beaches by bonfires, in the forest staring into the flames.
When I am lonely, I hear you whisper, my first anam cara, heart friend.
We dance, we fly, we merge, and angels know union with man’s heart.

Ariel

Dawn breaks over the sea strand, the Lion of God
is lord of the sun and the waters, elemental king.
Fire is also his domain, and as flames lick feet
his mane is bright bonfire, shift from beast to
man, man to beast, blond hair a windswept halo,
tanned as wood grain, eyes the blue of lost days.
We walk amidst the strand, froth kisses our ankles
hand in hand with my childhood idol, morning star
Ariel, Ariel, you were always there in my girlhood
I rode your wings through Milky Way fractal spills
you taught me to hold a sword too large for a child
to fight for my passions, to salvage the ruins of
war and find beauty, you were there in the torments
of playground battles and cruelties of childhood,
“Be strong,” you would say, “Be brave, I love you.”
I sang songs to you before I knew what worship was
just that you were my better half, master defender,
older brother cut from the same quick-kindle cloth
I was in such awe of you at seven, moreso at twelve,
for by then I knew you had your own monsters, and I
would hold back your hair as you cried into Hell,
comb girlish promises of spring into a soldier braid
you’re always the first on the battlefield, brash roar
of courage and recklessness, sometimes we would crash
and in the ruin of our blood and feathers, we laughed.

Sea Witch

Seaweed hair, nacreous crown of sea urchin needles –
a mermaid came to my cave, I stole her starling voice
now her soprano soaks my skin in youth, her vibratto
my perfumery, I suck that music dry as mackerel bones,
for I live off notes and rhythm, my voluptuous hips
are perfect for drowning men in my curves, shipwreck
siren I, fishnet trap for those full of wish-longing.