by James Bychowski
Fit in our places where the fear couldn’t creep in, information cut rivers through fibers in our skin. Scurries of cells as they transport in plasma were stunned and seduced by a stream of our data—an electronic sunshine comprised of the books, of the pictures and doctrines, condescensions and pulpits.
Pretension, the noble, the centuries of symbols, were fed into wires then spit into bloodstreams.
Letters and sticks, voices and lectures, tumbled like metal etching slits in our circuits.
Destruction was instant—our flesh lived forever—but, our minds and our dreams disconnected from heaven.
There wasn’t an ache.
No one felt sadness.
What could be missed when one’s cutoff from essence?
We lived at the base—we couldn’t fall deeper—we’d chopped it all down ‘til life had no meaning. There at the bottom we asked him to feed us, using wires we’d stroked to disguise all our weakness.
We pierced and we dredged beneath him in the darkness.
Above, there were robots that witnessed his movements.
His cameras made people believe they could not die—he created these symbols that were perfect in our minds. And, the shapes on the screens that flickered on faces were just like the shadows of Zeus and Poseidon.
All of us . . . nothing . . . ceaseless rhythms of shame . . .
There was now only one who hadn’t been maimed.
A fake with his cameras, on the screens in our faces, was the last man on earth who could ask Christ to save him.
Our sacrificed spirits were all cuddled inside him. He extracted them slowly and spread them on canvas. He fashioned the debris to act as a mattress, then slept under starlight alone with his cameras.
Venus appeared with Mars before sunrise, as Lucifer leapt on rocks in the moonlight. He planted a foot on his apprentice’s shoulder, then rolled the last human off mounds of our soul dust.
They both worked together to bless all the ashes before sprinkling them onto the handles of hatchets.
The weapons were issued to legions of devils—every image of doom that we’d frightfully dreamt up.
The slick pets were dispatched.
They sunk in our dead world.
A calamity of tar streaked like herds of wet black birds.
The flocks grabbed control of our fool apparatus and began to dismantle all the man-made contraptions.
We shook when they drained all the poison we’d made up. We’d survived across time on madness we thought was . . . the answer, the purpose, the end we’d been warned of . . . we’d mocked our creator, the one force that had loved.
And, as our world was picked open there were numbers of questions: What had we done wrong? Why did this happen? What of the others who all died before us? Did they escape all this pain and confusion and torment?
There seemed a relation, proved “. . . the sins of the father . . .”, that our souls were connected ‘cross lives since the Garden. That all of us boosted a bloodline with lies, when it should have been cleaned so that none of us died.
Our pursuits had been driven toward finding an answer—an explanation, a reason—why we felt so abandoned.
We’d combed through the dirt and dissected all matter.
We’d developed a world that made us sadder and sadder.
It was as if we had blinked then opened our eyes—we were shocked at the nothing before we all realized . . .
The books all existed.
God gave words and wisdom.
All of this from day one had always been written:
Fools could have hedged if we transferred our egos to God and his Son, not imperious people. We were meant to confound their self-satisfied wisdom, to shake them from thrones and interfere with their kingdoms. God’s weakest influence is more than man’s greatest. And, with his glory contained in us, all the lamest, we could have shrunk tyrants and grown as we wanted—all foundations of witchcraft would have collapsed and enclosed them.
You know I was dreaming—you see this was theory. It had been the truth, but its time wasn’t nearing. This all would be final when God pressed out his light, until then this abstraction surrounded as beast might. It was there all inside us, grinning teeth shapes in our heads. It was there when it crushed us, when it made us all insane.
They peeled off our cave walls to show what was hidden, that the shadows we worshipped only looked like true wisdom. Immeasurable wonder as sensed by a human is worse than the trauma . . . than the murder of children.
Boundless, it mocked us as if we were just bug specks. There’s no way to face it when one’s trapped in this earth flesh.
We were torn by a force that made us all stupid.
We gladly pulled backward to drag shut our tomb lid.
They swished us like crude that had been pumped from the earth, then refined all our matter into stores for their world war. Our cells were the weapons, we were castles and spearheads. They dumped us in valleys, on the fields and the mountains. We were the army that’d been built by the dragon—his proof that the future wouldn’t be love and kindness. That matter, destruction, and flames of blue poison—that a spectacle of terror’d switch this back to darkness.
“Step quick, oh my last man!” sang the soft voice of Satan.
The last man dodged atoms in an extra dimension.
The earth was around him—he didn’t just vanish. He was shocked when he saw that his one life was seven.
The first gave the orders like a bent film director. And, the six other voices were the crew and the actors.
The director took off just as soon as they entered. Four of the others fell apart and they scattered.
The last was reduced—he was terror and blood—just feelings and structure, no protection, no high love.
In the space of his eyes swung a malevolent curtain. On the edge of its folds were the people who’d hurt him. They leapt from the garment (all these fiends were inside him!), one after one, every face in his nightmares.
They poked and they stabbed. They spit oil in his face. They tore skin from his stomach and boiled his entrails.
His colon was dried then used as a dog’s leash.
It was tied ‘round his neck.
He was led like a zoo beast.
Over rocks in a river, through a forest of rough pines, he was forced to crawl steady and whipped ‘til his throat whined.
Throughout all the torture he pleaded and cried. It was absolutely apparent that he’d definitely die.
“Oh God . . .” He was thinking.
“. . . I’m not going somewhere . . .”
“. . . Death doesn’t transform . . . I’ll be wiped out forever . . .”
Now there was no one, only rivers of toxin—a swirl of death gases made to challenge the Father.
“For what?” We’d been asking.
We don’t know, and we’ll never.
It’s never made sense—there’s no way that they bargained!
This light and its dark, we knew there was conflict, because the same thing was fought on the plains drawn inside us. But, to think of two people—two mountains of greatness—making deals, setting guidelines, as if they were both equal . . . That’s not what was playing when we stood as a witness to the fire that cracked down to extinguish the rivers.
The grime and the muck—all the pain and the wonder—the sophistic ghoul Satan, his palace and dungeon . . .
Death swirled without effort—God did as he said. All the evil he sanctioned never had a defense.
His creation had softened when the sun was returned. It loosened in phases—it diminished and burned.
The spirits whose flowers had connected to Christ . . . we streamed with the Lord and began the next life.
But, the death, and the dark, and the angels on Saturn, all ended in fires—the last splits of the atoms.