By Gerrit Bos
Am I an angel? A messiah? A virgin birth?
Or the devil hiding in my neighbour’s shirt?
Am I a wicked prince? An evil tyrant? Or simply a lost sheep?
Am I a beggar? A warning? The truth? Or plain boring?
Left alone, shut out, wound down and tied up.
Do I have wings of gold? Feet of clay? Who am I anyway?
Tomorrow’s prophet, yesterday’s hound.
A jewel undiscovered, a spirit yet to haunt.
A string yet to break, or a note yet to sound.
Am I ugly? Am I thin? Does my moan become bothering?
Crawling out, creeping in; the crack in your door, the hole in your wall,
the shadow in the window, the stranger in the mirror,
the anger on your tongue – the danger yet to come.
The blister in the dawn, the pain in your gasp,
the obstacle in your task, the question that you ask,
the land that you see, the air that you breathe,
the moan that you seethe, the cry that you whimper;
all make me remember that you were once mine.
Standing in the alleys, biding my time; living in my mind’s galleys,
facing my crime in the water I drink and the food I eat
and wondering if the day’s brief
and smelling their fumes, ungamely singing their tunes.
Walking in their street, hiding in your hills,
dying in your night, blinded by your light.
Caught up in your trance, stumbling through your dance,
losing at your game, laughing all the same.
Longing for all, yet refusing the land’s respite.
Barking at your heels, shoving my nose at your meals.
Laughing at your times, crying at your crimes.
Wandering, lost, sold; bought, traded for pots of rice.
Seeking a confrontal, living a denial.
Yesterday’s fallacy makes for tomorrow’s trial.