Moonlight and Darkness

He is moonlight and darkness, with shadow dripping like snakeskin from his pale marble flesh. A cold star on the horizon that looms like a dead messenger. Soft lines under his eyes bespeak ages. The cut of his jaw is sharp as a skull, and his glacial eyes are the blue of fox fire, ancient in a youthful face. He reminds me of quaking aspen in winter, bright as their bark and tall as days.

I know why his voice made all Heaven fall, its rich melody like a living thing. When he sings, supernovas bloom in the sky and galaxies blossom into life. He is the covering cherub, and his song could make the heart of God seize in delight.

When we speak, I want nothing more than sit at his feet and hear the knowledge and stories spill from his lips like jewels. In coarse words I try to capture that sound and remember it upon waking, but vocabulary and memory fails. It is the sussuration of thousands of fall leaves and sweet chocolate melting on one’s tongue, the purr of a lion or the bells of Notre Dame. The majesty of thunder and lightning’s crack as it falls to the earth’s darkness. Each syllable is like a caress, so tantalizing, one shivers. One gets lost in the sea of his tales.

We walk through snow and forests of the mind, him dressed in elegant robes or tailored black suits accented by red- reminiscent of the apple for which he is famed. His peacock wings drape over his desk as he writes in his ledgers in angel quills. It rains beyond the window, and he gazes at it longingly, up into an ashen sky. I sit on the floor, perusing the ancient, illuminated tomes that line his shelves, waiting until the storm ceases.

In the courts of Hell he reigns, sitting upon his throne that rises stories into the air. The damned file in, and he lays their sins out before them, sees the blackness on their souls and judges accordingly. His blue eyes burrow under their skin and dissect their hearts without even thinking. He turns his crystalline gaze on me and I can see every secret and deed bleed out from my heart, under the scrutiny of the angel.

“Everyone has their stains, even you. No one is above judgement. You must learn to love others for their flaws, and forgive.”

He has never forgiven himself for what he is.

I used to come up to his waist. Now, I reach his arms. His transformation has echoed the steady flutter of my growth- from protector to brother to friend, always my muse. In my youth he was my seraph, blond-locked and golden-skinned, with wings white like clouds and a beauty that I would have died for, bleeding like Joan of Arc did for her beloved Michael.

Instead of spilling blood, I bled ink onto paper, trying to summon the angel who hadn’t revealed his name. I christened him after the morning star, chasing him like a child does a comet. All along, he was silent about his origin, smiling in amusement at my attempts to know him. That knowledge would come with time.

When the first hints of womanhood visited me, he changed. His hair became the color of a raven’s feather, and darkness replaced all that had once been light. My lion became a snake. Instead of an angel, I found myself dreaming of someone fallen, though still beautiful- a treacherous beauty hardened by the depths of Hell.

I began to dream of heavenly war and tried to capture my nightly visions with a questing pen. I cast aside his childhood name and invented a new one to replace it, only to discover it was his true name, the Poison of God. Horrified by the discovery of who he was, I retreated. He smirked as he always does, waiting patiently for me to return.

“And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

Eventually, I returned, ready to know my demon and face my fears. But that is another story, and the storm beyond my window begins to clear.

He has haunted my dreams since childhood, both angel and devil, guardian one day and accuser the next. I tread in his presence as if I am walking on hot coals, never knowing when his words will burn me and scorch truth into my veins. We walk through frozen wastelands in sleep, and he tells me the course of the stars lit under the aurora, how a third of them fell long ago.

I look into his eyes and see the cosmos. Sometimes, I think I will drown in them.

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