The woods ripple with the burble of streams and cries of songbirds. Ecstasy in the sun, pleasure in the wind brushing wildflowers and spreading pollen abreast bees sailing across the silver air, honey and cream and buttery yellow dandelions all resplendent and endless. Heaven is wherever you are, my archangel, my prince, my knight in angel’s armor. You are perfection manifest, and in our tangle of limbs, I can see the beginning and end of Creation, and every poem in between. Your song is my life, my life is your psalm, and together, we are immaculate.
There is no equivalent of an astral condom. Scratch that, maybe there is, but from over a dozen years of boinking demons and angels and gods, I’ve never so much seen a guy reach for an adamantine rubber. I mean, don’t the gods, archangels, and archdemons have super jizz? Look at all the poor ladies Zeus impregnated. Look at Jesus Christ. Wham, zam, Immaculate Conception!
I’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby, and ladies and gentlemen, Hail Adrian! No really, what the fuck was that movie and book. I love it to death, but does that mean all of Satan’s children are the Antichrist? Samael has like a billion of them. All the archdemons do. They’re like an infernal Quiverful movement. And how come my particular Antichrist is more concerned with rocking out to scene music, playing pranks, eating sugar, getting hugs, and bedtime stories than like, idk, destroying the world? Raising Cain takes on a whole new meaning when you’re married to Cain’s father and, once again, astral condoms are not a thing. Now I don’t know Samael from Adam, but I heard Eve had a hard time choosing between the Devil and a Deep Blue Pair of Eyes. I sure do. Joking aside, astral children are a very real shamanic thing, from witches in Europe to the spirit children of the Ainu. A whole religion is based around the Son of God. Mine would not inspire a religion. My son would inspire earlier bedtimes and an infomercial about the dangers of having Satan spoil your kid.
I first met my son with Samael when I was 18. He was already six… seeing as he ages like a human, that makes me a preteen mom at twelve, cue fridge horror moment. The good thing about astral children is that pregnancy doesn’t have to be involved, and creating an immortal is more like, idk, bloop, a being of light is combined by mixing your energies in the aether, and bada bing bada boom, the stork arrives.
But back to my Adrian. Hail Adrian! Hail Satan!
He was a little demon with pale skin, my blue eyes and Sam’s black hair and lean build. His main concerns were hitting baseballs with his dad in the backyard and playing with little green army men. He also liked to make exploding noises and eat sugar. He clung to my legs, demanded hugs, and was already monstrously tall for a six year old. I named him Az, after Azrael, in hopes he would turn out better than his father – more professional, polite, and less of a clusterfuck.
Six years later, those hopes were quickly dashed.
I was waaaay too young to be a parent, and seeing as the entirety of Heaven and Hell’s elite despite Samael are not fucking pedophiles with things for little girls, no one laid a hand on me until my early mid-twenties. Needless to say, what Sam did was so not right, but when is it new that he’s an evil gross turd? He is Satan, after all, and a manchild. I love him despite him being the celestial equivalent of Kylo Ren.
Anyways, Az. Azzy Az Az. I admit it, I kind of forgot about him. College and jobs and everything. Then I turned 24. That spring, the night of May 1st, I got the (mis)pleasure of meeting my sugar-high son again. He had gotten into shapeshifting and playing pranks. I didn’t recognize him, seeing as he was now twelve, had dyed his hair pink and blue, and had demonic yellow goat sideways slit goat eyes. He kept hugging me, begging “mom” (me) for bedtime stories, love, affection, saying he couldn’t sleep because he lost the doll Sam had given him shaped like me (WTF), and said he wanted to be tucked in.
I summoned Michael and had him ground Az.
Az got taken away from me crying by Gabriel and Raphael.
“That’s your son, remember him?” Michael said gently.
“Oh shit, that is my son! He’s a little spoiled brat.” I said, having just recovered from the surprise of it all.
Michael smiled. “Be gentle on him. Samael’s spoiled him rotten. He’s never known discipline. It’s taken all of Heaven and Hell to raise him. We’re all very close to the troublemaker. He’s been known to stir quite a lot of shit like Sam. Maybe all he needs is your guidance.”
I cursed. “Fuck, Michael, I just turned 24! What the fuck do I know about raising a kid, much less a powerful prince of Hell that likes to turn the Underworld and Heaven into his play pen! He’s like me at that age but with like fucking ADHD, high off sugar, and he’s fucking clingy!”
“He’s a child, Allie. Your child. Have patience.”
I woke up, reeling, then went back to sleep.
Samael and I were in an enchanted kind of Grand Canyon meets the Petra Cliffs, picknicking.
“There’s someone I want you to meet, Allie,” Sam said over a glass of his signature Cabernet. He lowered his sunglasses, swilled his wine, and smiled like a shark as he bit into a bit of bread and cheese.
“Who, your dick? I’m not gonna fuck you in the desert, Sam. Sand in uncomfortable places, y’know.”
Someone, a tiny ball of strength and fury, jumped onto my back and squeezed me.
“HI MOM. DID YOU MISS ME? I GOT OUT OF TIME OUT! MOM, GUESS WHAT? I JUST TURNED TWELVE! DAD LET’S ME GO ON ADVENTURES WITH HIM, LIKE THIS ONE. MOM, CAN I HAVE SOME DESERT! THAT LOOKS LIKE STRAWBERRY SHORT CAKE. THAT’S MY FAVORITE.”
The literal demon child did cartwheels and beat-boxed after he ate the. Entire. Cake. All before I could stop him.
Sam laughed his ass off.
“Sam! How the hell have you been raising our kid?” I whispered angrily to Corpseboy as Az played with a demonic fidget spinner that looked like a torture device.
“Oh, Azazel? I tend to take a laissez-faire style of parenting like I did when you were young.”
My fury chomped at the bit. “YOU NAMED MY SON AZAZEL!?!”
Samael smirked like, well, Satan. “You did name him Az. And he is half my child, after all. The hyperactivity and irritation factor and short attention span may be your genetics, but he inherited my powers.”
Az looked up from his beat boxing. “Umm, mom, dad, why are you arguing? Can we play hide and seek! Please oh please oh please! Then you can read me a story!”
We played hide and seek. Az was very good at hiding. Sam got pissed at how good at hiding he was.
“Azazel! Come out! Your mother wants to play with you now!” Samael hollered, drunk.
“OKAY. I WON!” Az screamed, jumping onto Samael. Samael laughed and began wrestling him. They wrestled for a good ten minutes, then it devolved into a tickling match. Az lost.
Az jumped onto me next and started roughhousing me.
“Kid, I’m breakable!”
“Be careful with your mother, Azazel. She’s a delicate flower of femininity. Gentlemen aren’t rough with girls,” Samael said, voice smug as a bug on a rug.
Az settled down a bit. His lips quivered as he buried his face in my neck and began crying, hugging me hard.
“I’ve missed you mommy. I have so many nightmares. Dad can’t even make them go away. Will you write me a poem so he can read it to me? And get me a doll of you to sleep with?”
Az conjured up an illusion of the kind of doll he wanted – a rag doll of me with blonde hair in a red dress, Sam’s favorite dress for me.
There were tears in his blue eyes.
“Umm, sure thing, kiddo.”
I woke up, and well, I wrote this.
I was not very happy to suddenly find out I had a clingy son named fucking Azazel.
Azazel kept appearing in dreams and was quite cuddly. He played with my psychic’s dog and children. He would cuddle with me before bed and demand stories. I got pissed off at Sam for how he was letting our kid grow wild like Tarzan and handed his rearing off to Michael. Michael is a much better child-raiser, whereas Sam is a hellion raiser. Az has settled down a little bit now that he is thirteen, but not much. He’s growing more independent, pushing limits, but he’s so fucking adorable it’s hard to resist spoiling Az.
I refuse to call him Azazel out of principle.
Having a fully immortal son that exists out of time is kind of weird. I recently met his adult form, who is quite a handsome Dionysian demon with clear blue eyes, long curling black hair, wears leopard skin and leads revels and festivals. He fits into the Carnival King archetype, and is much more disciplined and egalitarian than Samael, thanks to Michael, he learned how to be a king. There’s a kind of Lucifer-like chill and calculation about him, masked under Dionysian frenzy and revelry. He likes wine like Samael, but Azazel is all lord of hosts, legion. I view him as the leader of the Seirim, the Demons of the Wastes who goats were sacrificed to on Yom Kippur in order to avert the gaze of Samael from the Jewish tribes. He is a Scapegoat, and a trickster. A potent demon king that will lead Hell in his own way. An Antichrist of sorts, I suppose.
But for now, he relates to me mostly as a tween that likes scene music, arm bands, hair dye, and above all, cuddles.
Most importantly of all, he is protective of his sisters. All my girls with Sam end up blonde. They are beautiful, wicked, ethereal, and much more inhuman than Az. They look like Norse Sadakos. They creep me out. I love them anyways.
Az tucks them into bed and reads the girls stories. He watches over them with a steel gaze. He’s grown in responsibility by having younger siblings exponentially. And he’s even eaten more green vegetables now that Michael has started him on Michael’s signature boring, bland health foods.
All Hail Azazel!
Hallelujah, that the weak may be mighty.
Hallelujah, that the warrior might know peace.
Hallelujah, that the singer’s locs be long.
Hallelujah, that the artist’s palette is never dry.
Jah Michael, God Michael, Yah Michael.
Red hair held back by a paintbrush.
Caressing Bob Ross landscapes on canvas.
I know Hebrew in my dreams, but I know your face
in every single shard of you, Michael, ochre-splattered
jeans, five o’clock shadow, losing yourself in brush strokes.
Hallelujah sings the broken man as he learns to love again.
Jah Michael, God Michael, Yah Michael.
Reflection of God. He Who is God. Image of God.
I may be the moon but you are my sun.
And in your artist’s studio, Michael, I find respite.
Hallelujah toll the bells of Paradise. Honor to Thy Lord.
He is not My Lord, He is not Your Lord, for You are Him,
and to worship God is to worship Love and Creation.
To worship Jah is to make sweet life on a paintbrush.
God is a Poet. God is a Lover. God is an Artist.
Jah is All, Hallelujah, sweet trembling soul.
His strength cradles me, cradles you, lifts up
the dusky night and brings Paradaisical Day.
Michael, sweet Jah, sweet Yah, in you I know God.
In you I know Father. In you, I know redemption
in the colors of grass and wine, gilded in gold leaf.
You painted me into Creation and breathed life into my
trembling hands. I would die for you again, always, only
save your tears for sacred reunions, this is not
Chomp at the bit while you’re dizzying me up with wine and poetry. I’m nibbling your fingertips, splayed across your lap like an otter bobbing on the ocean with a pearl. It’s us alone in luxury, us alone in the ruins of morals, and the falcon highs of Hell are only as worthy as the exhilaration of your majestic wings breaking. We fall – into pace, out of time, from memory, but most importantly, into love. Here you are as a cold spot under my ass, moving through me like a ghost as your sinuous hands entwine in my hair. I always said you had pianist fingers, and you play the piano often, but sometimes you just sing, and the seasons stop turning and all Heaven is in mourning for losing its most beautiful voice. I could say you are my better angel, or my Byronic Hero, but really, you’re just a scared boy clinging to cunts and tits because that’s the closest thing to mother you ever had.
Read me more of your poetry black soul. Smash the windows, break the lamps, cry in my arms and bite my head off. You like to tear me limb from limb and swallow me hole, then suture me back together with your putrid heart in the cage of my ribs and have my stitched drunken limbs dance like an automaton. Somehow it always comes back to Eve’s choice – the Left Hand Path or the Right Hand, Yetzer Ha Ra or Yetzer Ha Tov, Michael or Samael, the Knight or the Dragon. The Spin Doctors did this nineties song about Two Princes, y’know, and sometimes it gets stuck in my head. She chooses the penniless poet at the end, but I can never guarantee I would choose you. You’ll only ever be second-best, but you were first, so I suppose there’s that.
You fuck me real gentle that night. My photo is on your bed stand, or photos should I say, from birth to toddlerhood to childhood to maidenhood to young womanhood. There’s black and whites of my past lives too – I’m taking tea with Lilith in Victorian dresses, I’m swimming in the beautiful red Styx, we’re together in the 70’s at some hippie concert. How much is fallacy or fantasy or lies is just like your fangs – translucent at time and hidden behind bleeding gums, other times out in the open and ready to devour. I ask you to drink my blood so you do, sinking canines into my neck and I give into the ecstasy, I trace infinity on the small of your back and Christ, I love you so much I hate you, or is it hate so much I love you.
Michael said it is better to hate or love than to feel nothing, for in the end they are just polarities, just masks we wear. Sometimes I remember you two before the War. The War this, the War that. Both of you are soldiers. As I’m writing this, you form a cold spot that swirls lazily around my head and heart as I’m in a blanket and jacket. I always wear my jackets inside, I’m in need of constant warmth. Your seed is warm, your heart is cold, and you are a canvas of blank. Is blank okay to call you? Void with red demon eyes. Abyss. The Deep. You move through me like rain on glass, just skimming the surface yet so thorough I run down your planes like tears. Maybe I’m just another one of your moon maidens, oh fuck, here you are again, holding my hand across transdimensional space.
You said I would be Queen of the Aliens. You said I would be the phoenix to rise from Ragnarok in a New Age. You said I would be your savior, burying you below the Tree of Life – or was it Death? – to cleanse the mem from your name to make you Sael, the Purity of God. Samech Mem Aleph Lamed. The S and M Angel. That’s my stupidest joke.
Oh Samael. What can I say to you that I haven’t already articulated over this past quarter century, then all the lives after and before? I’m old and I have tired words. It’s past my bedtime. You cherish me, and that is enough, but I know you are evil. Can evil things love? Can the most wretched of creatures know anything more than possessiveness and animal urges? Snakes are snakes, not men. You may put on the pretenses of humanity, but I know you are cold-blooded reptillian. True, you have chthonic fire, but you are Death, and Death is Nothing.
Bruises blossom on blue, blood flows like wine.
You don the blindfold of the executioner, ride
on to the cusp of vespertine curses, the bright
moon is snuffed out by your rebellion, you swing
your axe and the guillotine of your heart reigns
over my beheaded ego. Unleash my demons and run.
I need something sweeter than your
violent love, something softer
that folds up like white origami
in my cotton pocket, yours is
the covenant of monsters,
mine is the flock of sheep,
and darling dead vampire,
you are no longer my moon.
I am my own sun, a star.
And my light is a lovely
The snake is a snicker-snack Vorpal blade fanged with moonlight.
My kingdom is ashes and wine. My neck a fluted glass smashing
open to welcome incisors to drink ruby red time. Counting stars
in Hell is like pulling teeth. If I dress in taffeta and lace,
am I a ballerina or backstage whore? Glamorous slut of indulgence.
A Jezebel to the prince, courtesan to the king, the general’s girl.
This year was the year of excess, this year was the year of ruin,
of IV drips through lover’s lips and crystal palaces of danger.
Fuck me harder, love me softer, crack my ribs and make a corset.
I’m blood drunk love drunk stoned as a bird falling slap dash
into your arms, my angel, my demon, so bang me high and holy,
scratch the chromium paint off my mouth, and unearth my lost air.