Wings and Eyes and Scales

The Hagia Sofia falls to fascist fires
children cower in minaret crumbles, cry
out help us, shield us, and I answer,
spread pinions of rose and take to sky
a battle cry, flaming eyes, seraphic
dragon that saves the slaughtered
I am burning wheel, opalescent scale
and my skin is chainmail. The children
stay close along the ridges of my back
and the Devil sends his legions to attack
the stillness of fallout, woods beckon,
we take shelter, Mother Angel and brood,
Pink Dragon sings a lullaby to refugees.

Fat Day

These tan curves and gold curls are lies.  I want to take a razor to the slope of my belly and dredge out my intestines.  Beat my brain on the pavement and screw pins into my skin.  Beautiful, they say, but I know I am ugly as the Beast.  That is why we get along so well, because I am the witch that eats men in the woods, seductress, your destruction, and my eyes are pools you will drown in.

I want to feel a gun to the head, just the weight of it against a temple to make gray matter a moon bow on the wall.  I want a razor to carve pretty lies onto my thighs and rest my decapitated head on my lap.  Monster, monster, in the looking glass.  Suicide, matricide, martyr.  I’m the mother of no one, but still they come to me wailing, drink my blood milk, and maybe I’m Babylon and a wild whore strapped between two needfires with albino crows, cawing in song with my children, but on the surface?  You would never know.

I don’t say I’m an enchantress, but there’s the shamanic journeying, the five-fold kiss, the familiars and demons and angels and gods all clashing in my head like the Wild Hunt.  I’ve gone mad, dreamed of drowning, thought of perilous calls as Hati and Skoll chase me through the tundra.  I’ve had the Devil play my organs like the finest of violins and still my music would be better if he snapped my spine instead of caressing it.

Divinity wants to break me open and suck the stars from my marrow.  I rant, I rave, I froth at the mouth – the true Beast is Cipactli, Tiamat, the She-Leviathan, a Mother of the Deep that possesses me to dance with wild abandon.  I will devour all and leave blank snow in my wake, Kelvin zero.  I’m out of control, and today is a day for damnation.

Slut.  Whore.  Temptress.  Jezebel.  Woman Clad in Night.  I will be the Thunder Perfect Mind Sophia, Alpha and Omega as I straddle the corpse of my lover and pound him into the dirt.  I am not sane, I am the mad she-bitch that nursed Managarm, Angrboda of the Iron Woods, consort of chaos but master of the giants that will eat Midgard.

Once I was beautiful, terrible to behold, a blushing Psyche, now I’ve donned the snakes of Medusa and I will rake my serpents through the dirt in bind runes to summon Walpurgisnacht devils from the mountains.  I am Terror, I am Fury, I am Wrath.  Scorn me and face the angel of death, White Reaper riding on the tempest of Satan’s heart, flame sword glory general of the Prince of Heaven.

I see through your ruses.  Your lies.  Your pretty words and cloying compliments.

I know what I am.

I am wild, untamed.

The beast in the forest.

The monster of my disease.

And I will eat you, madman.

All to discover your magic.

The Mother

I stroke broad white eagle wings up to the sun, torch in hand, into the Heavenly Throneroom, and steal Holy Fire.  The court is empty of angels and demons.  My hair is long and curled like a brass candelabra and my gown white and glistening as if dew is a second layer on it.

I come to the waterfall gateway to Earth and jump down into the Deep, away from New Jerusalem, my wings skirting skies of velvet red and violet.  Clouds dampen me and the stars stretch out like an elegy.

I come to the humans that amble about Africa without warmth or a way to cook their food.  I descend as lightning, and Jophiel’s eponymous torch strikes the brush and lights bushes on fire.  The ancestors of modern man marvel, kindle torches, and the fruit of the Tree of Life which I guard is given against God’s will.

I ascend back to Heaven, but as I break the boundary between the physical and the immaterial, I hear the cry of Heaven’s general, the shriek of a red-tailed hawk, a raptor of red and cream brown feathers, and he rises with the moon in the desert and dwarfs me, the size of a roc.

His eyes are not his own.  Michael is possessed by Divine Will, whether Sophia or Demiurge, I cannot tell, but the urge to run courses through my limbs and I flash serrated wings and fly on a gale away.

Dart, dodge talons, but soon his beak is around my throat, squeezing the breath from my throat, roc throttling me until a white ring of a collar scars my neck and my torch is dropped far below to the abyss.  For I have stolen from Heaven, and God is displeased.

Blood is hot on my breast, and I know in his divine berserk madness, it will take a miracle for Michael to hear me.  I scream his name, over and over again, pleading until he breaks and shifts to wings and man, and then he sobs, over and over, clutching my rag doll body and broken wings:

“I’m so sorry Jophiel.  The Mother told me to kill you.  I wasn’t myself – your screams awoke me.  Please, forgive me, forgive me!”

In that moment, Michael questions our Creator – or more properly, Creatrix – for the first time ever, and I clutch his face and kiss him.

“It’s okay, Michael – your madness has quit.”

He rocks me to sleep best he can as he sets to healing me, tears bright in his eyes.

“Why do we always hurt the things we love?”

Raise Your Rapier to Her Death

I will be glorious, the broken sword
a girl-built pyre, accursed, adored!
Bow before me, oh my lord, I will melt
your icy hoard, pluck your roses, weld
together disharmonious chords, we reign
as consorts over bloody hordes, our men
fragile, feeble, battle-weary, and then
screaming as guts fly, I die yet again
a spear through the heart for my noble
commander, a dagger in the rib, stalwart
defender, you fall, I fall, crash mobile
crib angels, bleed out in your hands, art
my death, sacrifice, remember? You scream:

“Dear God! Not again.”

“Not again?”

“I lose her every time.”

“Caught between worlds,
we remain, in this hell
of reincarnation, a play
on a stage of Demiurgos
dimensions, Samael the
killer, you my pain,
eternal bane, how I
lost the girl, it’s
always the same.”

Jophiel

The girl came to him in a basket in the reeds
immortal made flesh, how Michael wept when
he sent her floating to an unmarked grave, the
woman fell into silence and rebirth, her wings
now tattoos on her back, only halo wheat hair,
her sole providence cornflower eyes, like glass,
they looked up at the king of Hell with tears,
the babe cried out as talons encircled her,
what was once angel, adamant, now blood, bone,
the Devil wept by the River Styx because he
knew that his daughter was caught in coils of
reincarnation, all thanks to his rebellion,
and the legions of women that fell from stars
were now human, but this one in particular was
his own creation with his heavenly twin, and
when she was full-formed, radiant, she gave up
her life to his sword, breast a cardinal red
as a blade not meant for her but heaven’s prince
shot through the night like an arrow, piercing
a golden heart they had created together once
when things were simpler, and their daughter
was new, and bitter wine did not flow between
brothers, so in Hell she was raised, and in Hell
she became strong, angel made child, rocked in
a cradle on Pandemonium’s throne, the wildlands
of the underworld her bosom friend, their king
her moon, and far above, where demons don’t tread,
the prince of heaven heard her voice singing a
lullaby he once lilted to his angel, and he wept
because once someone gives their life for you,
eons separate you, and she died for both of them
the bond between brothers made flesh, made blood,
a pact unto Michael and Samael, only they know
what secret promise, what purpose, she fulfills.

Scabbard

I would die for you – I already have a billion times
bleeding out in my guardian’s arms after taking
a sword through the heart, my body is full of sabers,
I am a sheath, a vessel, the scabbard that your flames
call home – you burn so brightly I can barely breathe.

Patience, prudence – or was I passed into perdition?
Is that why I always die in your embrace, why I wander
Hell with the Devil by my side, at my shoulder, in my
heart, but there’s space for you two, these things I say!
They trip, rush, waterfall out of my mouth until I scream.

You scream too, calling out my name as a spear meant for you
lances through my breast, I blossom scarlet, your hands are
covered in my blood – I am the riddling raven, you Crazy Man
Michael, tending his lonely gardens and wandering the strand.
Is that why you always save me? Because I paid my allegiance.

Because I gave everything I had to your cause, my very breath.
Angels can die, archangels can become nothing but girlchildren.
You wreathe me in your blue cloak of victory, still, I shiver,
your fiery sword cannot warm the dead, a part of me is always
dying, I dig graves for myself and lay down in the restless dirt.

Wherever is your heart I call home? Wherever is your heart that
is my safe haven, my refuge, why do I always have to be strong,
sometimes I just want to let my tears fill raging stormy seas
sometimes I want to become a sylph, careless fey and wind-wild
I do not like being divine in a mortal coil, and oh, I miss you so.

Zophael: Michael’s General, Of Cherubim Swiftest Wing, Herald of Hell, Grand Poobah

zophael

In many esoteric or magical practices, practitioners or devotees take on titles or sacred names.  I didn’t get a choice in mine: since I was twelve, St. Michael has been calling me Zophael in visions and dreams, and other angels soon followed suit (sounds like Sah-PHA-Yel – from the Hebrew tsapha – meaning watchman or spy).  It took me a decade of research and stalking angelology forums to find the name Zophael – I had been spelling it phonetically as Saphael and all that got me were dingy Scottich Rite Masonry references to the Angel of the Moon, but no legitimate angeology references.

Zophael is a variation of Zophiel, the cherubim mentioned in Paradise Lost as Heaven’s Spymaster who infiltrated Hell and announced the demon’s arrival during the Heavenly War, hence Klopstock calling her “Herald of Hell.”  Zophael serves alongside Zadkiel as Michael’s two first generals and standard-bearers.  Zophiel is considered the equivalent of Jophiel by most occult scholars and is also an alternate name for Tzaphkiel, and Jophiel and Tzaphkiel are often linked.  It’s all quite a mess to be honest, just like Camael and Samael being the different names for the same angel with the same exact sigil.  I’ve read in various translations that Tzaphkiel is a John Dee mistranslation and, as the name means Watchman of God, should therefore be spelled Tsaphael or Tsophiel – both variations of Zophael and Zophiel.  As you can tell this makes research a nightmare.

Vincent Spano played a very angry Zophael in the Prophecy movies who insulted Christopher Walken’s Gabriel and was deadset on hunting nephilim, there’s an epic poem by Maria Occidente about a fallen angel named Zophiel with a major fallen angel boner for a woman who gets friendzoned to Hell, and various other sprinklings of pop culture references like this one really obscure comic where Zophiel is a bald angel lady trying to stop the Apocalypse.  Researching the name Saphael just brings up Mortal Instrument ship fics, so I tend to avoid that.

Whenever I’m in my angelic form, I refer to myself as Zophael, as do the angels and demons.  When I’m human I’m just Allie, or maggot or worm, if Samael is concerned.  What a charming fellow.  I had a dream several nights ago that Michael and I teamed up to save Earth from Samael’s forces, as I usually do, and the whole reason Samael was invading Earth for the umpteenth time was because “I was bored, drunk, and there’s no real sunlight in Hell so we need arable land.”  In dreams, I’m often a vessel for angels or demons, such as Michael, Gabriel, or Samael, and when Samael possesses me my eyes turn red and I usually end up dressed like a regrettable Goth in leather pants, slutty tops, and a torn Grim Reaper cloak with combat boots.

Michael possessed me in the dream for the first time and much to my surprise, I was butt naked.  I had white wings, his blue cloak, and used his flaming sword to fight armies of demons.  Somehow I trained whole battalions on Earth without so much as a thong on, but dream me didn’t seem to care much.  Maybe Michael is an exhibitionist.  Whenever Samael possesses me all he does is say “Hello, boys,” “Time to see if blondes have more fun,” and oh yeah, “Did I wear you out Allie.”  I don’t know why my dream self gets possessed or possesses people in turn – I’ve possessed Samael, Lilith, Eve, and Gabriel, as well as a few other spirits.  It’s like my mind melds with theirs and I either shadow their actions while hearing their thoughts or fully control them.  This realllly pissed Lilith off, but I hate her anyways, so it’s all good.

I don’t know why everyone in dreams and visions keeps calling me Zophael – I wonder if it’s because I’m nosy and pay attention to little details.  There are a bunch of cryptic Biblical prophecies about watchmen that I won’t get into, but basically I see it as a spiritual calling to watch out for others and serve them.  Watchmen announce danger and take care of communities, like I do as an environmentalist.  I have no brawl skills whatsoever and am not subtle so I wouldn’t be a very good general-angel-spy thing.  Maybe it’s just a nickname, who knows?  I just hope the birthday suit dreams don’t become a thing…