Strange Apocalypse

I

As it turns out

The mothership looming over L.A.

Was the New Jerusalem

The day had come

Heaven and earth creaked into orbit,

Pensive

We’d forgotten that Jesus came the first time

As an alien, so of course it might be Him.

Did we expect literal trumpets? A sword made of iron?

We forgot that Jesus is always an alien

Different skin

Different eyes

Darker than we’d like

Uglier than we’d like.

He did not rise from among us

A prodigy or a horse we could hobble

He came from, and returned to the stars

And afterward we felt that we’d been examined,

Witnessed,

And we shivered.

When you welcome

The alien

You welcome

The Lord

We knew this.

II

And now the heat from the engines is stifling,

And now the roar from the engines is louder than sound.

And we all stand shaking while pebbles

Scatter like popcorn around our legs

And the tension blares like horns,

But we can’t tear our eyes away.

And it’s hard to see how this is Good News –

But it is.

Because this tension is our tension –

This fear is ours and it’s been with us

So long. Expressed in glances,

In shouted words and in gunfire,

And in press releases and in sirens,

And in divorce papers and in paperwork,

In Farsi and in Mandarin and in broken English

In the sound of broken glass and screeching tires

And in the clank of chains in this chamber we call a city.

III

Music

I miss my music now

I’ve never heard it, or I have almost certainly heard it

Like one would pass a face in a large crowd

Unrecognized, unremembered.

My ancestors worked fields on riverbanks,

Harvested Cherries in the morning before it got too hot

Dried herbs, cured pork,

And made music.

In the city I hear music, but it’s not mine.

I need someone who remembers who I am,

Who has been watching from beyond the stars

Who is not erased by time.

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