Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Continuous Rehearsal

This life appearing as a continuous rehearsal I can neither modify nor end. The stars are not looking back at us - not the way we understand "looking" - but it can be helpful sometimes to think of it that way. At midnight in November one visits the pigs a last time, their breath rising in the moonlight, dense and white like pools of semen. Pilate was a menace long before Jesus showed up, bound and determined to enact his public swan dive into history. What is prayer, what is love, what is forgiveness and who decides - these were never irrelevant questions - and their answers still matter - even if we are no longer a willing or ideal respondent. I wake and stagger down the hallway at 2 a.m., surprised to find myself on the verge of understanding nothing yet again. What is gallows but another word for stage? We aren't brave because we feed the poor, and we aren't right because we've decided the pigs will die, but the pigs are dying because we are still confused about the precise nature of hunger. I can't get away from Jerusalem, nor the death penalty, nor this studied reliance on women who calmly wash and wrap the dead. Morning arrives like pipe smoke, the invisible hand curling into a fist. It does come to this, doesn't it? At the last minute we refuse to swallow and so begin again: first we study emptiness, then we plant a garden, then we look for bodies looking for other bodies.

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