Cursed As The Beasts In The Fields We

Blood streaks his back, wings in tatters. He lies spread-eagle on the sand, at the lip of a gravelly cliff. Oh brother- you’ve turned on me. I drive my heel into his face, crushing it to the ground. He hisses, laughing madly under cracked ribs. All my fury broils over- my brother has become a Beast.

“Do you feel nothing!” I roar. “No remorse? Nothing at all!” I cry as I kill him. The last bits of his immortality drain from his once blue eyes. I hurt him because I love him, just as he has tore my heart a thousand times over. My brother, executioner of our kind. My brother, the traitor.

Perhaps his betrayal has not yet passed. Perhaps he is still innocent, but time is a funny thing: I have stood at the beginning and end of creation: Alpha and Omega are my blood. We are the twin serpents that circle each other, spiraling into eternity. Time has no meaning, to one such as me.

I know him, as Lilith does not. I have seen him, as Eve has not. I know what his sin will bring. The fields of damned stretch out before my eyes. My slain men rot. A legion of shadow cold as Dumah desecrates my home. He has brought death into the world.

A hole rots where his heart once shone. Nacash, the Shining One, has cast his aside raiment. Even I do not understand his blind sacrifice.

A girl stands beside him, centuries down the line. She witnesses his humiliation. “Why?” she cries. The man she sees is broken, and the one she stands by, mad. What broke you?, whispers her heart.

Why indeed. Why.

My brother, the howling void. I see what he becomes. His eyes are black pits now. The War has wasted him. Razor-thin, obscenely pale, he whispers into her ear:

“You lose yourself to the madness, and the pain wraps around you like a mother as you become one with the Abyss.”

I kick him over the edge, then spit on his disgusting form. I tremble. I want to die.

“I fell for Eternity,” he says, voice cold like the winter wind. Does he speak to her, or me?

My brother wakes in the Pit. He howls against his bondage. He tears the Abyss from around him and burrows in like a freezing wretch. Lucifer steps out of the shadow, watching coolly. Waiting. The North Star has followed the Morning.

Samael’s eyes open. They are red like spilled blood. I cannot stand that sight- I howl to my wretched God, I tear out my eyes like Azazel. They return like Prometheus’ liver. I, witness to Creation, cannot even be spared the sight of his damnation.

You ask me why I do not smile. Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani. Answer me, my God. You have been silent far too long.

She reaches for Samael, through the bonds of time. Lucifer sees the girl. His melancholy lifts- another pawn to play.

Death burns her flesh like acid. She screams into the darkness: Release him, oh dear God. God that never answers. God that doesn’t exist. He hath forsaken me. I must bear his likeness. I must bear the blame. Puppets of the Architect, in his endless shadow game.

The angels turn to me. They weep at their betrayal, for the war they did not want. Am I nailed to a cross? I do not know. We both are. Samael on Catharine’s wheel, nailed to turning time.

Do not comfort me. I bear this cross alone.

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Forbidden

Lucifer is lost, they say, he wandered astray at the fork between the Milky Way and the Perseid’s, hitched a ride on a comet with his manifold silver white wings and landed in darkness, far from the light of the furthest star.  His halo of golden hair glowed like a jellyfish in the depths of deep space, bioluminescent divinity oozing out of flaming keratin like a song heard by no one, for in the outer rim, there is no sound.

Just silence.

Lucifer’s compass broke – don’t you know men that are birds and birds that are men have magnetic bits in their skull like geese and migrate always North?  The Fall scrambled the pieces of lodestone etched in Lucifer’s skull and now, he wanders the wastes that have become Pandemonium over time, fractals of fallen angels finding a lightless abode in the void and populating it with lost dreams.

They say if Lucifer could fix the broken map of his mind, he would come roaring back into Heaven and accuse Michael.  He would lay every mishap caused by  the Angel of the Lord at the Prince of Heaven’s feet and throw vitriolic acid that would turn leaden pinions to gold, coal to diamonds, and rain to splinters of ice.

Lucifer would sob into Michael’s arms, ranting and raving, clutching at the broken ribs of his damnation like a madman as they poked through his papery skin and say, “Brother, look what I have become, this wasted thing.  Why did you let me go?  Why did you cast me out?  We could have reigned together.”

And Michael would run his scarred fingers through the cornsilk of his older twin’s hair and warmed his Kelvin zero demon with the mercy of God.  “Because, brother, I had to let you know God, and the only way you seem capable of comprehending the love of the Lord is by shunning it, running from the very thing that gave you life, and then mourning the loss of Someone that would welcome you back into His arms without a word.  You were the one who cast us out, Morning Star.”

And Lucifer would bite his lip, and he and Michael would share a bitter kiss, like day old coffee grounds and the rind of an unripe pear, and that would be the end and beginning of Lucifer’s questions.

Silence.

 

Joan of Arc

Swords rust with blood, but the sheath renews
my girl is a knight of twelve blades, red blue.

My girl screams ruin and wonder, my lady shines
like rain, she rides into battle on honor divine.

So heavenly, the way she plucks my pinions and bites
my lip, sashays her hips in a way belying her might.

She is a dancer, a moon maiden wanderer, sailing
on ballerina toes to the safe harbor of my wings.

I bleed only for her glory, scream her name as night
leaves me barren in the wake of her ghost, no light.

No light at all but a promise, and I am a selfish king.

Deus Vult

The war is eternal, the barracks are full of gutter swill, and Michael sits with his soldiers – some young angels not yet scarred by battle, some hardened veterans with crooked broken noses and lashes across their skin, burns from brands, twisted flesh from whips and swords.  In the trenches and camps, the border never falls, and the only thing to sing you to sleep is Israfel’s weeping over the Damned.

Sometimes, when there is a pause, and the demons retreat, Gabriel pulls out her battered trumpet and plays hymns.  Raphael has an accordion, and Uriel a makeshift drum.  Michael sings then.  It’s a ragtime band, Vaudeville in the wastelands, for shed enough immortal blood in Heaven and the grasses, flowers, and sedge drown in ichor.  All that blooms is asphodel.  The angel will dance among the plain white flowers and bramble thorns.

There are also roses.  One blooms every time an angel utters his or her last words.  They are sickly sweet with the fragrance of lost hope and a rain that never comes.  Michael picks them and presses their nectar and delivers their prayers to God’s throne room.  God weeps at the loss of his children, and another poppy blooms in the fields of the slain as the snow of their Father’s tears buries the corpses.  Roses, asphodel, poppy.  Pink, white, red.  It’s like a twisted Valentines, a love letter from Heaven to Hell.

Oh sweet nothings between Michael and Lucifer as one bites the heel and one crushes the head.  Oh sweet somethings between Raphael binding Azazel in Dudael.  Oh sweet possibility as Gabriel plays up the dawn with her song.  Oh sweetly impossible wishes of Raphael, for healing of the broken hearts of his comrades.  Oh bittersweet light of Uriel, who has run out of tears to shed – all that is left in her amber eyes is salt.

It is a Crusade.  It is a Cold War.  It is a chess set with poker on the side.  Two masterminds, Left Hand and Right Hand of God.  Over humanity perhaps, or perhaps so much more than mere hairless humans.  Perhaps they fight over free will, for freedom, or perhaps they forgot what they were fighting for long ago, and the lances and armor are dressings over empty burning hearts swiftly turning to coal.

Deus Vult.   As God Wills.

God left

a long

time

ago.

Black & White Isn’t Right

The war has raged on since the first cell split from the Source, and Michael and the Dragon are up to each other’s crushed necks and bitten heels in venom.  Angels are bleeding, demons are holding the carcasses of their beloved wretched ruins to their breasts, and archangels fly through the battlefield armed with fiery whips and flaming swords and blazing shields.  Satan has a spear and it is long and sharp and filled with the gall of death, his own dripping poison, but it smells like flowers – the kind the brothers used to walk through when they were young, when they wrestled and played at chess, now they play at war, and it such a curse to grow old and bitter when once there was no good and evil, just twins, Left Hand and Right Hand, with the Source their Queen, but now all that is left of the Source is the ichor that drains from the angels, and in Her Image is a girl with white wings and innocence and beauty.

They created her as a pact you see, perhaps as a scapegoat, perhaps for sacrifice, Virgin and Whore.  She flies through the battlefield as Jophiel, Michael’s general, but also as Zophael, Heaven’s Watchman and double agent in Hell.  This is not her first life, but it is no one’s first life, for the Ancient Ones spring from the Source and return to it and are spat out full-formed again with different names.  Michael is the oldest.  Perhaps the Dragon too.  Michael always wins, but that triumph comes with the tithe, and woman’s blood is the best kind of payment.

Satan aims that spear, that long spear, and it will kill Michael.  Michael is too busy being the father of the battlefield, glorious general, and Satan does not fight fair and is wily and wolf-wild.  She sees the spear headed towards her creator, screams, and it pierces her heart and Michael stops smiling from that day on, or does he?  He catches her dying form, she is fountains of red on an ivory gown, golden sandals drooping, blue eyes crying in a blood rain.  Michael is tearing at his hair and rocking back and forth amongst the fields tilled with dead bodies and hacked off limbs and guts that smell like sulfur, smelted by swords and decay.  There is no poetry in her death, just mangled wings, and Satan cries and says no, not her, not her, not the child we created between us, this bridge between Heaven and Hell, and he grabs the spear Michael has pulled from her breast and breaks it in two.

Michael and the Dragon share a look of hate.  It is pure, it is ragged, it is burning.  But there is duty, and there is love, and though one is the Tree of Death and one the Tree of Life, once there was a cutting from both of them and she grew curved as a pear, she was sweet, and lord knows they were idiots to bind their fates together into this dumb blonde archangel who only has a mind for poetry and perfume and flowers and love.  She should never have been given a white scythe or a flaming sword, god knows she is just a child, and now her heart is mangled and she is gasping their names and clutching at Michael’s hair which she has braided so many times and reaching for Satan’s eyes and wishing they would change from their poison red to her beloved blue.

Once again Michael and Satan are fathers, and she is a child, and the last bit of archangel that the Void has not claimed as it’s master, Satan pries his heart from his breast and gives her new life.  She will die as an angel, yes, and archangels are not meant to live through the Judge of God’s gall, it would even kill Michael, and Satan knows in giving up  his immortality he will lose this ancient battle of Good and Evil, that his head will crush dirt and he will eat dust on his belly all his days, but for Eloa, for Sophia, for the Magdalene, for Eve, for the First Woman and Last Whore and Idiot Girl, he would swallow his own poison instead of spitting it out.

Michael knows Satan has damned her with a cursed life, a half-life, for to spring from Satan’s heart as he told her in her childhood is a raging black storm, a sword without mercy, and she will be caught in death and rebirth and madness.  She dies then, and it is a meaningless death, but perhaps it means the War in Heaven is won, for as soon as they bury her body and send her off to her next life in Hell, Satan has already accepted his fate.

He bows before the Prince of Heaven.  He eats dust.  He lets his twin crush his head into dirt, toss him off a cliff, strip him of a manhood for a serpent tail, and now the burden of raising her in her second life has fallen upon him, not Michael feeding the baby manna dew and wild honey but Satan rocking her on his throne, princess of Hell, and when she comes to him in the reeds like Moses, Satan takes the doll and places her on a cradle, and he cries, for now her eyes are red like his, and she will never be pure again.  Eidolon cleft from his ribs, he calls her throughout the ages, yellow canary in a coal mine, guiding light in hell, and her wings are gone but scars remain.  She grows and runs wild in Hell and sings, and Michael hears her from Heaven’s empty throne, and he weeps, and she drinks down his tears like rain.

They were idiots to create her, after all, but brothers drunk off the cosmos place bets, and her reason for existing is a secret best kept between the Knight and the Dragon, for princesses choose the victor, and maybe they wanted to see who could win the love of love herself.

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.

The Lion and the Wolf

The Lion is noble, all gold mane, bright sun.
The Wolf? Deadly, bitter, poison pearl teeth.
The Lion roars of coming wars not yet won.
The Wolf weeps always, bright fangs sheathed.

Neither wants this fight, to tear apart
brotherhood at the cost of clashing hearts
yet still canines and claws draw crimson
and dawn breaks over the beasts’ dominion.

I watch from the cliff side, Wolf and Lion
growling and howling like old fevered rivals
one with Apollo’s quiver, one belted Orion,
I weep maudlin tears at their suicide trial.

When angels become monsters, beasts of adamant
with berserk battle prowess and fury blood-lust
then the time draws near for the Devil’s ascent
and ruin blooms violet with the fall of the just.