The Logic of Appearances

Job's friends come for a visit.
He has nothing to offer them: no tea,
no coffee, no bread fresh from the oven.

They sit in silence, all of them,
four old men and a brimming youth.
Job sighs and shifts on his ash heap;
the afternoon plows on.

In the courts of the sky
a cloud roars up in the east.
It boils with demons, locusts, frogs —
Job gets to his feet, eye wide, swaying.

"Why will He not regard me?"
He staggers, then shouts: "He is not in the east;
I cannot find Him in the west; I do not see Him
in the north. And you can forget finding Him
anywhere south of here."

Now Job is bent like a fishhook. His hands clasp
his knees. He has knuckles like walnuts.
"I will not be reduced to silence," he whispers.
"This dark mystery will not break me."

God walks the streets of His holy city,
pauses in the slow, slanted light of the afternoon.
Lucifer waits on the corner, silent in fury,
shielding his eyes against the light.

"You will never have him," God says.
"His anger is pure. It is a prayer
that answers itself." He tosses a
whirlwind from hand to hand.

4 thoughts on “The Logic of Appearances

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