After Shane McRae's "The Hastily Assembled Angel Also Sustains the World"
Mend this moment— Our Son is falling. Beneath the temple's pinnacle— the holy city’s highest holy— we wait. On Jerusalem stone we array ourselves for a pause—bells, pomegranates weight fringe to earth— we orbit now. A thrum pitches our invisible crowd past here, past how: Catch him. Catch him, lest he fall. We, arms encircling (each and each), keep expediencies, run alongside, under, over all that could so viciously run awry. Catch him, catch him, the Son is falling. Gather time in intractable knots. Above, Messiah spars the tempter (matched beyond match), to sieve errors in reason, stay execution— a while yet. Not long ago, He passed planets in the dash to womb’s throne, passed continents and ages, to meet the meridian, to suture the center point of history to His own body— to stitch the cracked veil with lily stems. He weighs salvation against the cost of bread now, riches, then power. Wayfarer, wayfarer, do you behold twin paths—bearing kings’ scepters or riding a Passover ass? After forty days, Imagination is ravenous for bread. Wrath would taste of grain tumbled by a mill stone, dirt-ground bread. Waiting is manna. Wings sieve currents, wake air above, beneath. Light lathes our circumference, slippers on stone, heads upturned to the plunge. He feels the heft, a gold orb in one hand, Baptismal dove in the other, feathered covenant— chimes, wings, an intelligence to spell the devil of his tricks. Behold, my beloved Son, echoes down—mercy unwinds. Get thee behind me— a quantum moment when sight writes the end—when script becomes scripture. Still, we none of us look away— Not one of us looks away.
Elizabeth Pinborough is a poet and artist from Salt Lake City. She is coeditor of Young Ravens Literary Review and loves exploring the brain in her art.