by Adrienne Rozells
This piece was part of our short list but was no longer able to be published for exterior reasons, so we have instead included it on the blog. Consider this a sneak peek to Issue 2!
Phaedrus said, “love is a mighty god”
I would like to be beautiful and terrible at the same time.
So beautiful that it’s terrible to look at,
and impossible to look away.
“Phaedrus remembered a line from Thoreau: ‘You never gain something but that you lose something.’”
I would like you to think that I’m tough.
More than that, though, I would like to be known
for being soft.
As the downy plush of angel wings,
(as they were,
not as we imagine them.)
“And now he began to see for the first time the unbelievable magnitude of what man, when he gained power to understand and rule the world in terms of dialectic truths, had lost.”
I like angels like this:
Grotesquely beyond comprehensible appearance,
all-seeing because they are all eyeballs,
floating and glowing
like looking into the sun.
Looking down on us, these
“floating wheels with eyes.”
Like the wheel of time,
a reminder that they will still be here,
when we are not.
“He had built empires of scientific capability to manipulate the phenomena of nature into enormous manifestations of his own dreams of power and wealth—”
Angels seem to me hybrid creatures,
just a little bit human. How can they empathize
as they guide our souls to heaven?
Why would we assume angels know anything at all
about what it’s like to live and die?
“but for this he had exchanged an empire of understanding of equal magnitude”
When I was young, I used to put needles through the calluses at the tips of my thumbs. I couldn’t feel any pain in all that dead skin. The dead on the dying on my young and lively hands.
an understanding of what it is to be a part of the world,
My best friend and I used to dip our fingertips in hot candle wax, just after blowing out the flame. I could feel the pain then. I breathed through it, waited for the wax to cool into a mold, then plucked it free and left it to cool in the fridge.
and not an enemy of it.”
Disregard the laws of the natural universe as we know them. Imagine you can stay. Freeze your fingerprints in the icebox. Wish for Medusa, wish to turn yourself to stone. Be memorable, like an eldritch abomination, be unforgettable and incomprehensible and brain-breaking—
Cover photo via Pinterest