As in the day of Midian

A Christmas poem
+Christus natus est


Who knows?
Perhaps the Maker will
relent and turn aside.
Maybe He will disregard
our sev’nfold deadly pride.

I know
that cherubim still guard
the portal of fair Eden—
a bitter anamnesis of
Man’s walks with God at even.

Who hears
The voice of mercy in the
thunderclap from Sinai,
ineffable and infinite
as we are bent and finite?

I hear
and know the justice of the
words which rage and burn:
“Grind your gilden idols up;
drink them down in turns.”

Who sees
a plan in any of the
chaos and the death,
kings who ply in lechery
with murder in their breath?

I see.
But I do not perceive;
I hear, but do not comprehend.
These histories are Greek to me—
far beyond my ken.

Who cares
About some Messianic
Mishnah-tale of old?
I don’t believe it anymore;
it’s just a story too much told.

I care.
But I do not know why.
I feel it just that we will die.
Before I do, I would but know
the meaning of such lines.

What fortune!
Our room is the last in
this establishment!
Goddamn this Roman census
and their pagan government.