Angels' Music

NOBODY EVERY TRIED harder at making God hear surely.  He called on him till the veins on his neck swelled and his face went black.  He kept at it till one eye got sucked deep into the socket and the other bulged out like a berry on a stem.  He gaped his jaws at Heaven till his lips peeled back from his teeth and you could see down to where his lungs and liver was flapping like fish in a basket.  Up out of the point of his head a jet of his heart’s blood spurted black and smoking.  That’s how he told it.

“There came angels at last, Finn,” he said. “They were spread out against the sky like a great wreath.  The closest were close enough to touch nearly. The farthest were farther than the stars.  I never saw so many stars.  I could hear the stillness of them they were that still.”

I see his pinched face go silver watching. There’s silver in the hollow of his cheeks.  He has silver eyes.  His shoulder-blades cast shadows dark as wings on his bony boy’s back.

“Lofty and fair beyond telling was the angels’ music,” he said.  They heard me cry and they answered me.  They weren’t singing to me of the mercy of God, Finn.  Their singing was itself the mercy of God.  Do you think I could ever forget it even if I tried?"

-Originally published in Listening to Your Life

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