Ezekiel Remembers the Sky


I remember the silence of the sky
when people looked up at the buzz
of a low-flying four-seater airplane.

Everyone lived in four dimensions,
drove four wheels,
had four faces.

My job-face was an ox.
I plowed through the day, curbing
my urge to run to the lake.

My love-face was a lion,
loyal and fierce, hard hunger
swelling below my ribs.

My self-face was only part human.
Sometimes I was a humble witch,
sometimes a black-winged angel.

My spirit-face confronted me beak-first
with a brown-eyed, dirt-feathered eagle.
I still dream in bird’s-eye view.

As the sky grew louder, our faces faded.
We became one-faced and two-mouthed,
filling the air with fumes and chatter.

I remember the sky, almost
quiet enough to hear clouds breathe,
shattered by church bells.

— Sara Backer

 

Sara Backer is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Bicycle Lotus, which won the 2015 Turtle Island Poetry Award, and Scavenger Hunt forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. Her poems have appeared in Abyss & Apex, Asimov’s, Eye to the Telescope, Illumens, Into the Void, The Pedestal, Shooter, and Strange Horizons, with new ones forthcoming in Star*Line. www.sarabacker.com

Editor’s Notes: The Denderah Stone depicted here is discussed in Wikipedia and other places.  The poem also makes a clear reference to the (zodiac) wheel within a wheel in Ezekiel 1. Some people think this is a reference to UFOs, but I like the astronomical interpretation, as well as a linguistic approach, which alludes to cycles of life (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdWBApimiRA_)

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