Thirteen Ways of Looking at an Angel


Anita Endrezze

Under the divine canopy of moon flowers,
one pale angel flutters
on the breath of an moth.

Three figures
knelt in a field of poppies,
studying a harp-shaped map,
their wings folded like cloth napkins.

He abandons the heavens,
seeking the psalms of migrating butterflies
as they transform autumn winds
into whirls of flowering light.

An angel and God
are one.
A man and a woman and a prayer
are one
with God.

We do not understand their dark red wings,
or the songs that sparkle like mica.

We do not know why some are poor girls
or others manifest as orchids.

We do not know that the rainbows
angels toss over their shoulders
are the heavens
sloughing off old skin.

We only know
that their beauty is a language resembling life.

The soul drinks from the shadows of rivers
and oceans. It drinks from the idea
of substance.
Yet the soul inhabits its essence
the way electricity dwells in lightning.

Why do we look for angels
in golden robes, when the neighbor lady---
in her fluffy bedroom slippers---
offers to bring chicken soup when we're ill?

I know glass spheres, wreaths of roses,
bold sunflowers and women with bright red lips
are all rhythms beyond the ear.
What dreams we inherit
are part of what we know
without knowing.

When Lucifer left heaven
God drew a line
He dared us to cross--
from Himself to infinity
which, since He is everywhere,
defined Infinite Circles, edges
of domain
that fractured every wing
and heartbeat in existence.

At the sight of angels
gossiping over green hedges,
we cry out for our wounded,
our lost ones. We demand
serious seraphim.

I flew over the ocean once,
mistaking the white froth of whales
for an angel's lace wings.

My heart is beating.
An angel must be writing poems.

The clock tocked all afternoon.
It was the present.
And it was going to be the present.
The angel sat,
chewing impatiently on a feather.

© 2002 Anita Endrezze

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