Monday, November 3, 2014

The Death of Angels

They're only potentially immortal.
They have no wings. They're neither black nor white.
They don't fall. They do stand in the roadway
And glow slightly, if the day's dark enough,
Brightly if it's night and there are no lights.
They don't actually carry messages.
They are carriers of another sort,
And once one has seen you, it infects you,
And you hallucinate amazing things
And wake up convinced that you're a prophet
Ready to carry the divine message
Conveyed from the mouth of your bright angel,
Whose name and purpose you're convinced you know.
You may start a religion. You may fail.
Either way, you're relatively harmless,
Your madness only a human madness
Other humans adopt or not, killing
You or your followers, or getting killed
By your followers as numbers dictate,
As humans have done and had done to them
For thousands of years. The angel escapes,
The defense mechanism effective
Once again. Because there's so few of them,
We really know nearly nothing of them
Beyond their effects on those who've seen them
And whose accounts cannot quite be trusted.
Nowadays, they're as likely to be called
Aliens as angels, but origins
In interplanetary fantasies
Likely do little more to explain them
Than origins in bright divinity.
We hardly know what they are, but we can,
And we can even, with some luck, kill them,
Although no one's ever dissected one,
Since they implode to ashes at their death,
And no one's yet observed their behavior
Beyond encountering their defenses,
Which no one can witness without visions
And subsequent sense of self-importance
As a chosen individual, blind
To all real memory, beyond that first glimpse
Of the human-like thing called an angel.
But I have. I have stood aside and seen
Without having been seen, without blinders,
Without visions, without false messages.
I'm here to tell you we can study them.

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