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AVE SATANAS

for Lucifer, homesick and stubborn


If you ask her, she’ll tell you she’d like to be bigger than God someday.

Hold the magnifying glass over Him on a hot day,

see how He likes it.


What she won’t say is that that’s just a Bible camp horror story,

tent revivals and snake oil at best,

no nearer the truth than cloven hooves

or doomsday prophecy —

she was an angel, for


- if you’ll pardon her language -


Christ’ssake.


Once His most devoted soldier,

She did not cease to be proof of His brilliance and power just because the eviction notice came - she expected it would - and she was forced to file a change of address. She does not hate her Father more than she loves Him, and isn’t that what got her sent down South for a spell in the first place?


Her crime, as tradition dictates, was love.


More than she hated her father’s race of bastards

born graceless, sans wings,

she loved Him.

Loved her siblings,

the soft pulse of Gabriel’s horn on the high morning air

sharing a room with Michael,

loved her home and its endless halls of light.

Having seen these things,

having loved them,

she had no idea how her half-siblings, though little better than apes,

could not.


Then again, it is not an angel’s job to understand.

It’s an angel’s job to worship:

Helplessly, blindly, until it is ultimately their undoing.


She does not hate her Father more than she loves Him.


Lucifer would like to remind you that it is her Father that chose this trait, and therein lies the problem with starting a fire:


It always catches faster and spreads further than you expected.

Even if you are God.


Her half-siblings cannot fit their animal tongues

around her given name

and besides that, they mostly don’t dare to speak of her

lest she should appear,

but the wretch Cain called her Lightbringer

when she spoke to him in the fields.


Her Father couldn’t see it

but all she did was beautify wrath,

seething and alive, and

lay it at his feet as surely as Cain lay Abel

at his own.


It goes without saying that Cain hasn’t called her

anything

since they put his brother in the ground.


When the dark gets long in the tooth

she thinks of her siblings, a hundred faces each and all

turned to the crucible sun,

A thousand thousand wings alight. Holy fire.


She misses every single one of them in alphabetical order and still, she does not hate her Father more than she loves Him.


She talks to her Knights of them in glory and still,

in their sacrilegious beauty, they frown

at the original lost lamb:



She is a ghost story, a stranger growing stranger; only a bitter sting and an empty bunk to prove she was ever real.



Note From The Author:

I wrote this poem because I think a lot about that Samuel Butler quote: "An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books." I think a lot about the idea of parents and children and wonder if maybe all Lucifer really wants is to come back home.

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