• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 02
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Irradiated Scripture

My love. Look--how they have made a prophet out of you, turned your songs into sermons. Your feet are burning in the desert sands, but you won’t stop for me to wash them. I watch you climb the mountain and stand on the edge of the plateau, one hand pressed to your heart.
How many nights did we lie together, darling, with my cheek on your chest, listening to that same rhythm. While you slept, I prayed you would keep breathing. As if my devotion to you could ever make it so.
Your voice is shrill and feral, incoherent as the wind starts to wail. Holy, holy, holy boy. My eyes sting with sand as it fountains up, a towering cloud. I have seen this before, a howling explosion in the eyes of soldiers and civilians. I wonder what they called it the first time. All those poor children in the rubble. You call it God, and it calls you home.
Seraphim spread their many wings and their feathers cut open my cheeks, my grasping hands. You are in a cage with bars made of flaming swords and spears, and you’re singing out, the sweetest songbird the world might ever hear.
Look at you, love. You’re glowing. Messiah and martyr, has there ever been a difference? I wonder if it hurts, to feel divinity take you so rough, when you were always so gentle with me. There is blood in my eyes as I collapse at your feet, and I swear my skin burns when I touch yours. Like it’s being flayed from my muscles. The angels are watching with mad, rolling eyes, blinking wounds in their arms and chests. Their mouths are gaping, waiting for you. I want you to keep them waiting.
But it calls you home, and because you’re you—you answer. You reach your hands out to the stars, to your waiting congregation, and smile.
Oh my holy, holy boy.