As it turns out
The mothership looming over L.A.
Was the New Jerusalem
The day had come
Heaven and earth creaked into orbit,
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
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,
And we shivered.
When you welcome
We knew this.
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.
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
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.