An Historian

May 25, 2019

 

I cast my gaze upon the cool, crisp glass

I see a glimpse, the glimmer, the shadow, a horror

A face, my own, familiar, but not my own

For within it I see another face

The barren, naked, wicked face of a tyrant's victim

Strewn about in a heap of lifeless decay and silent misery

From the shadows of my eyes he screams to me

 

Death, death.

You think death will overtake you.

Death is within you.

Death rests within your palms and sinks deep within your face.

Death is written upon your brow, an irrevokable sentence. 

The rings on your hands cannot beautify this clumsy arrest.

I, too, wear rings.

My very bones are concealed within your flesh. 

 

A breath, a turn, and I amend my collar. 

A bowl of beans to appease my distraction. 

But my salad bowl, and my bread, which I purposed for a meal at my workplace,

I dare not touch, not yet, not too soon, because perhaps it may still glimmer with unseeable lights

The very lights which burned Marshall and Socorro,

The ghost of whom stole the breath from Curie, 

Whose spectre would not forgive the sins of Slotin, 

The bitter waters of death which sinners are made to drink by the command of Moses. 

 

A train, the rustling of steel, is heard from out my window

A hurtling metal calamity not unlike that which I will ascend tomorrow morning

Do we resent our demands to become gods?

Trust is cheap, and traded for ensouling fodder. 

Do we live for such things? 

Does man breathe smoke? Do women bear death itself within their wombs?

Will we wear boots for our managers, but not work? 

Is there courage within a man?

Or is death itself enscribed upon your brow and your hand?

 

I stare again into the pane.

Does a wicked law enflesh a wicked bravery?

Then let the law of God teach the children of God bravery, also. 

Is there a dictator lurking beneath these eyes?

Then crucify him.

I, too, wear rings. 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
Our world

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