Poem By lara arnaout
I was out on the balcony, alone, when the angel appeared to me. I covered my ears and pretended not to hear him. Once he was near enough, I gripped him by the shoulder and slashed through his wings with my penknife. They were delicate as paper and easy to cut through. Faker! Imposter! I threw him from the balcony.
Please don’t misunderstand me. This all happened in a matter of seconds. I am quick when I need to be.
I tied the wings to my back with an elaborate tangle of pins and string and thread. Standing at the edge, I looked upon the fallen angel. His body lie broken on the rocks below, stripped of its wings. A man and nothing more.
I flexed muscles I’d never known I had, in readiness for flight.
At first things were difficult. It took all my strength just to get off the ground. I just couldn’t seem to gain momentum. It took a few failures before I could get to grips with the technique. But when my feet left the balcony, I glided over the stones with ease.
I tore through the clouds and descended upon the village. With my great wings, the people couldn’t help but mistake me for an angel. They knelt before me, ready to act on my word. Every utterance from my lips was written down as scripture. I was received as a messenger sent down from the heavens.
I spoke to them in riddles and presented them with a feather. Even now, it rests upon the altar.
I visited the cathedral, appearing before the pictures painted on glass. My shadow filled the hall. I bellowed from the windows.
The poor fools thought the gods returned to Earth. Most of them ran away screaming.
For those brave enough to listen, I invented myths and stories. I told them I had come with a message. We gods did not want to be worshipped. We had never needed to be believed in. There was no need to fight over our existence.
The priests wouldn’t stand for such nonsense. Even in their terror, they denounced me. They shouted me down and decried me as a devil. I fell to the ground. My flock ran towards me.
Hands and bodies covered my wings. My struggles only sent up further clouds of feathers. The priests were plucking me! They pulled off my wings and strapped me to the pyre.
And then, the miracle. The flames rose up around me and yet, I did not burn. The ropes around my body turned to ash and fell away. I stepped out of the fire, spreading my arms, my flesh unscathed.
I rose from the fire on wings of flame. The priests fell to their knees before me.
I shot into the sky, a star.