Angel Mother

“When you see Her you will die,”
Michael whispers in my ear, puts his
peacock hands over my eyes, then
takes me RUSH BLOW BOOM to Her.

God-Mother is ells tall, pine-barren
lumber over a waterfall, windblown
boulders in a storm, gale in the
reeds, eye of the tempest, heart
of a firestorm inferno, rainy marsh.

I cannot see, I cannot see Her, just
smell loam and smoke, She is All,
She is All, and we are just playthings
in Her inexorable crystal dove hands.

There are some things even angels
cannot fathom, some Mothers eat
their young, Death is just Her maw
the Earth Her womb, I am blind, blind
so in love, heartdrenched, when my
hourglass breaks, oh, then
I’ll see – “You will Know.”

Until then, we dance, waltzing
on the Holy Spirit’s lips.


Hiding Under Wedding Vine

I didn’t search for Love:
he found me moon-mad and
famished, rain-hollowed
and worn, then filled my
bones with honey and wine.

I didn’t have his number,
know what his teeth cut
for dinner, or the timbrel
of his song Sunday morning.

I didn’t know his name
for the longest time –
just a shock of flames
that curled round his
temples like glory.

I’ve been broken so long –
damned – that I thought
my tempest heart barren
not worthy of patience or
even the slight smile of
a kindred heart –

I thought I was worth
ash, coal, burnt feathers
my mind is a disease,
mutilated child, cripple
I am weak, weak, weak.

I didn’t know I could be saved.

I didn’t know his sword
was the tongues of saints
or that his shield was
adamant angel regret.

All I knew were his roses
smelled sweet, that he was
shy, kind, a cutting of his
Father, and that somehow, my
hand fit in his.

He’s always been my guardian,
saved my soul from abyssal
chaos, it’s not my place,
it’s not my place, I cut my
veins open and blood drips
like his hair under starlight.

I’m not meant for devotions
for rosaries or penitence
I’m not meant for salvation.

So why Love, why?
Do you call me?

Can’t you see I’m already dead?

Cupid Meets Psyche

A ring from my finger for Eros at twilight
he blushes then hides behind rose leaves
night falls and his palace is silent
silken drapes, red canopy, I wait
wing fluttering, shy, candles, he creeps
in like sweet tea left in the sun too long
lips meet neck and ear, too afraid
to press a seal against skin, so he
just whispers my name, touches hair,
thinks I do not know, I know, oh,
I know, that promises to angels
and their terrible beauty leave girls
betrothed to dragon-slayers who
quietly wait for them year after year
unexpected ties, I wasn’t looking for
a knight in lion armor, but the heart
sings a melody like mulled wine, and who
could deny Eros’ beauty, his truth?
The seasons turn and I am left stranded
on a new lover’s shore, but they’re only
night sylphs, seraphim, as real as a phantom
kiss, he is fire, undoubtedly, and I will
burn like sweet Joan, a wedding dress martyr
still, brother turns on brother, snakes hate
falcons, perhaps it was never just
my choice to make, perhaps princesses
are kept in towers for their own good,
and my dragon must meet my prince
devotion tears the priestess apart
when two brothers fight, the girl dies
but I cannot fable death, just beginnings
so we meet at midnight, our swords sheathed,
petals upon prayers, water and meadows,
gold skin and frankincense, Eros says
“There is time upon time for us,
and soon, I will help you sing.”

Regina Angelorum

He knelt before his Queen, dressed in knightly raiment.  She smiled beneficently upon him, right hand raised in the sign of redemption.  The Queen of Angels occupied her throne like a dove its silver cage: all beauty and whiteness, she was thronged by the purest of seraphim, ringed by soft wings and power.  And she, their sun, fed them her manna of light.  “Oh Michael,” she said, voice like a clarion bell.  The blond stone chapel she occupied echoed with her presence.  Michael gazed upon her, clad in heavenly blue and all the beauty of the cosmos.  Even he, most ancient of all, lost his breath each time he saw her.  Her crown was her humility, her queenship boundless love.

She pressed her fingers to his brow, face tender as she looked upon his wounds.  Cool softness flowed through him as she healed her champion, most high of angels.  It was only with her the archangel wore the ghost of a smile.  “You feel broken, Michael,” she said softly.  “Let down your burden.  Be at peace.”  Her angels raised their voice in song.  Like Aphrodite’s Graces, their tune painted the air with flowers, liker the sweetness of lost dreams.  It was a perfume of the moon and desert nights.  It wrapped around him like a cloak, filling him with light.

“Thank you,” he whispered, sword resting on his knee.  He took his crimson sash, pressed it to his cheek.  It smelt of her- the promise of redemption.  He carried it with him always, like crusaders their ladies’ handkerchiefs.  Its end was wrapped around her wrist, the symbol of their bond.

He remembered her in the moonlight, in the windswept hills of Lorraine.  She’d worn the form of a maiden then, old memories washed like dirt from a blouse.  All the stains of eternity had been lifted from her.  Michael had reeled, struck with awe, at his Queen who did not know her name.  The innocence he never dared to see again played across her fragile face, like ripples of sun on the sea.  Her cheeks bloomed in the cool air as she laughed, chasing a stray lamb.

He almost hadn’t appeared to her, wanting to let that beautiful girl run into eternity, through golden fields that had never seen blood.  He cared not that the Host dressed black in mourning, bereft of their beloved.  As long as she was happy.  It was Michael’s driving force.

He could not forgive himself.  He’d given that cross up long ago.  He paused in remembrance: he had come to her after the Fall, stained her robe with his blood as he wept into her arms.  Their tears had formed the Euphrates and all the rivers of Eden.  And so he took Lucifer’s place, as her confidant and warden.  He killed in her name, bore her hatred as he executed the harsh choices she was too pure to make.  He bore her rage, too- suffered her anger in silence.  Nothing was more painful than that.  It had bit his skin as the flames licked her flesh.  Her tongue had poisoned him as she wasted away in a dank prison cell:  “Michael, Michael, my light.  You have betrayed me.  I did everything you asked of me.  You said I would be free.  I am too young!”

She would always be too young.  The youngest sister of the angels, the Host’s crown jewel.  He had embraced her on her pyre.  “I’m sorry, girl.  I’m sorry.”  She could not hear him through her rage.  It was then that the archangel knew what Samael had suffered when his human was torn from him.  That death, the death of his Queen, changed Michael irrevocably.  He finally saw the face of mortality: it was repulsive.  Like flies.

The reaper appeared at the charnel grounds.  He watched her murderers placidly.  “Maggots,” Samael called them, eating his wormy pomegranate.  “Like larva they crawl from the water, molt into mayflies, then die.”  He looked pensively at the rotten fruit, which had withered since humans had tasted it.  He had come to collect her soul.

“Do not take her.” Michael seethed, spitting at his twin.

Samael shrugged.  “You would have me defy Her will?”  He smirked, looking at the skeleton Michael clutched.

Michael wept into her charred remains.  Loathing himself, he released her soul.  For a moment, Samael and the Queen were reunited, like the primordial days before.  For a moment, she did not recognize him  “Lucifer?” she sighed.  “Take me home.”

Just like Gabriel’s laugh became darker after he walked among men, something in Michael cracked.  He smiled coldly at Samael.  “Enjoy her grace while it lasts.  But lay a hand on her, serpent, and I will flay you.”

Samael laughed roughly, ferrying her soul into the void.  “I wouldn’t dream of it.  I no longer need grace.”  He said the word like a curse.

The Quietest Thing

The thing they don’t tell you about saints
is that they are gardeners, tending budding
prayers, cutting shoots of dream-whispers
in the fields at the heart of Heaven.

Michael, whose sword is crack-glass sharp
turns his blade to trimming, dressed in jeans
and a button-down, not his usual armor, for
though a warrior, he is also salt of the earth.

The archangel likes ivy-choked roses the best-
those are secrets of the heart, so tender
they only blossom when lovers meet. He takes
a question in his hand and coaxes it to bloom:

“Does God want me to be alone? Will I
always feel this marrow-quiver pain?”

The archangel gives the rarest of smiles,
leans down to whisper into the petals,
his saffron-thread hair the same shade,
his lips part, he plucks it, then answers:

“No. Love is like my Father, it
trickles like rain into soil, it
feeds starving souls, love lays in
cradles and gutters, look at grass,
look at hummingbirds, look to heaven.”

“He is there, He will bandage
every ache you feel, staunch
the hardness of your heart.”

“Love comes like a beggar to a table
when you’re least expecting Him.”

“Love is the quietest of things.”