Condemned to Life


“I am the Resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth
and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11:25-26)”

She was brought to him
by the shaded ones
he was told not to look at her
or she would return
to the realm of death

He began to ascend the path toward life
the difficult journey
the exhaustion of rebirth

He closed his eyes in darkness into darkness
the silence was an atmospheric pressure
he could not hear the music of his poetry
in his mind

He listened for the movement of her clothes, the
friction of her feet against volcanic cobblestones
her footsteps had a thin transparent sound

the sound said
do not look at me
do not look

He continued walking upward
struggling as if opposed by death’s gravity
she followed him closely moving in rhythm step by step

He could not look at her
she could look at him
her eyes were open and uncovered

The shadow of his body was outlined
by tracings of fire
her hands remembered the warmth and strength of his shoulders
her fingers remembered lightly touching his hair

as they travelled,
his eyes remained closed
his feet pushed against the stones
he was confident that she
was just behind him
wasn’t she?

He opened his eyes a little
sliding them to an angle
to try to see
the hem of her dress, the tip of her shoe
to deceive death without moving his head

Instead he saw a grey and purple
increasing illumination ahead of him
his lungs expanded,
the nerves in his body rekindled…
the music of the poetry in his mind restarted

She also saw the dawn
She inhaled his breath, her lungs expanded
she could hear the music of his poetry in her mind

she stepped around and in front of him
out of his shadow

She faced the sun as it emerged
sunlight so bright she could not see him or see anything
sunlight so bright he could not see her or see anything

Seeing only the light
.. she said “Orpheus!”

Seeing only the light
he said “Eurydice!”

Closer to resurrection than he was
she could have gone into it
but she stopped…
and turned
and looked into the deep color of his eyes
he stopped
and looked into the the light blue radiance of her eyes

instantly the radiance extinquished
she was lost to him
pulled back into the asphyxiation of death
he was lost to her
pulled back into a life
of writing songs and poetry only about her.


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