Lift Up Your Robes And Dance

In truth, I did not care much for her. She was sweet as honey to the eye, but I have stared full into the face of god and felt his breath strange and quick upon my cheek; what could she have been to that? And his death no more than a hour’s amusement, an errant flick of the wrist — my hands are clean. Who was there to say otherwise? Nathan spoke in the language of the birds — the wind echoing among the rocks — and my son died, but so it goes. How many others died that day? How many bled out before the city gates? He did not die alone, or uselessly, but as many another has, one foot among hundreds, one sword more among thousands.

An hour’s amusement, no more, and quickly forgotten, but for his stubborn modesty, his stiff humility. Go, man, and sleep among your wives (I have the one, he said, and laughed), I have heard well of you, but he would not, preferring a hard bed among men. Well and so. I have heard a story — a god came down from the high places and rode another king’s ride for a night. The king — I forget his name — returned before the morning and the god departed, and nine months later twins were born of several seeds, one human and one divine. So it might have been; we might have been more than brothers, but so it goes.

He died, and our son kept him company among the whispering dead; his and hers and mine. I have found another — what could he have been to that?