Richard Michelson
Editors' Pick

Envisioning the Life, Post-Parole, of my Father’s Murderer

 

Rainbows exist, the nurse explains, not in the troposphere,
but only on the viewer’s retina. Then, staring at her iPhone
as if it housed time, or regret, she excuses herself. Alone
till my pupils dilate and the doctor arrives, I have leisure
to ponder how doubt can enter the eye socket of the body
like a bullet, instantly upsetting the moneylender’s table,
and scattering the interior architecture of belief until, unable
to breathe, we lie down like Paschal lambs. Holy, Holy. Holy
we chant, repeating the lies our ancestors sang before death.
Behind bars, you found Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed, Buddha.
Your debt paid, I have come to welcome you to your future.
Here, soul is named for the breath that breaks from our mouths
after a sucker punch to the gut; and God’s multi colored coat,
which we call truth, still costs less than a shave, and a haircut.

 

 

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