Years Before His Resurrection
On the sidelines
in a tale as lasting as fairy tales
he recounted the details
of his Russian heritage,
several centuries past.
Through an open window
he stretched his neck and laughed
at all the sidewalk walkers
walking beneath him.
With tortured eyes and soft, cold skin,
he spent his time playing piano in candle light, sometimes
counting his collection of exotic butterflies.
He longed for death or for some substance
in the wind. He caught the night between
his eyelashes, reading Nostradamus outload.
Behind closed curtains he nourished the cavity within
by reciting the prayers of obscure saints, offering appeasement
to his guilt that no hope could overcome. He was not
a typical man, not proud, not tender,
but full of churning lava, full like a storm cloud
before the storm, like the belly
of a soon-to-be mother, full and focused
like a predator sensing
the frightened heart of its prey.
© 1990 by Allison Grayhurst
Published in “Chicago Record” November 2018
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