Love-Song of an Angel
[Author's Note: This poem is about Citan, but not ... /precisely/ the Citan who was shown in the game. I have a number of reasons for thinking this, but I am firmly convinced that Citan is much, much older than he
claims to be. With that in mind -- how would he view the people around him? This work takes place in the same universe as my other Xenogears stories, including "Mourn Not for Angels", in which Citan's past is explained in more detail. Much credit to the works of Rainer Maria Rilke, TS Eliot, and the authors of the Bible, who helped inspire this (and indeed whose phrasing I alluded to in a few places), and the music of Eleanor McEvoy, which started the thoughts stirring.]
I have walked these streets at midnight alone in the rain
to watch the life drip slowly from the sky --
pooled, half-broken in shadows that hold
promises of what never comes to pass. I have seen
and with those eyes devoured the madness
feasting upon it to nourish when naught else would feed.
These moments are mine, slipped through the cracks
one bleeding into years and all I can claim as my own.
Do I speak in ancient voice? For oft I forget,
language is their own and you cannot comprehend.
Let me find my words, for they have been spoken before.
The silence is a weighted thing, carrying burdens
that cannot be relieved by prayer. Child of God,
you know the solitude of death in life --
of watching all you have learned wither and die on the vine.
I have seen the faces of ghosts given shape and form
to haunt the living who do not know their name. I have held
the hand of the dying to ease that pain. Mine the hand
that brings peace, yet I find no peace in my world.
I have known them each, from moment to moment
and learned their dreams and faces that they wear.
You do not know the secrets whispered in my ear
and shall not know, for though they are granted me
they are not mine. Not anymore. I claim the burden
but the joy was never mine to safeguard.
So look upon my actions kindly
and remember the blossom of youth we have long since lost.
Your greatness has waned, but I recall the man you once were.
Child of God, I grant you this --
that you may know my duty and balance it against your own.
It is a weighty matter, should you see with tired eyes.
Your own eyes grow wearier with each passing moment
as they scan the horizon from your celestial throne
but can they know what it is they look upon
when you do not wish to touch? Can they find
the moments of truth in the hours of endless repetition,
can they, eagle-sharpened, sift the sand to find
the single gleam of gold? For until they can
do not presume to judge my work.
These hands are stained with the blood of ages
but this heavy heart is washed clean in the rivers of Jordan.
Take me not into your struggle, for I have struggle of my own;
I have stood before your ministers of God to hear
their veiled accusations whispered in my ears.
Ministers of God, who are you to devote your lives
to the love of power? The golden calf lures you
from your appointed duty, yet your god does not
strike you down. I shall cast my staff to the ground
and draw it back a serpent to strike at your hearts,
lest you heed my words. I speak not my prophecy for you
if you listen with prejudiced ears,
twisting the word of God to serve your own narrow means.
Take me not to task for my duty,
for you have polluted your own with your blackened taint,
and are no longer that which you were. You have cheapened your role,
prostituted your dignity for a scrap of secular power.
My skin shall shine with the word of God,
but my eyes see the fate of man. I stand ever between.
You know not, nor can you know, their struggle.
O Lord of Hosts, how long will you withhold
your compassion? How long before you destroy these whores
who claim to serve you? They spread the wine of their doom
in every moment they slight your creations.
Take them back and teach them your fire and love.
And she, the daughter of God and man combined
once part of the Mother and cast adrift in the sea of tears --
what purpose does she serve? She is decked in the scarlet and purple
of her triumphs, clutching at her power with empty hands,
pulling the strings of her puppets and not aware
that she is nothing but a pawn that thinks itself a queen.
She holds her hands open --
smiling, seductive, luring the faithful and wicked to her side
to be used in her schemes -- what role can she play?
For she stands ever out of reach, the bait that calls
to those who wish more importance than they have
and drapes herself in gauzy temptation.
She thinks herself free and wraps herself
in chains of her own devising -- how, then,
can she love God, if she cannot love herself?
How can she awaken the sleeping deity
if she cannot awaken her own slumbering heart?
Daughter of God, the way to redemption is fraught
with perils, but the baptismal waters are cleansing.
Go down to the river and confess your intent
and the heavens shall open up to descend upon you --
then, then shall you be delivered. I cannot lead you there,
for you must choose the purification on your own.
But your eyes are cloaked in shadow,
and you cannot find the river. Leave the road
you are on, for it brings you no closer
to the Kingdom of God.
But you turn away from me and heed not my words.
If you have ears, then hear: you sow the seeds
of your own destruction with every word
that falls from your lips. Turn back, daughter of God,
lest this cup pass to you as well.
In dealing with their own kind the children of this world
are more astute than the children of light.
How, then, can the children of God
sit in judgement over the nations of the earth, bare-faced,
and heed me not when I show them what they lack?
I should have been a prophet exiled in the desert
to lead the way to the kingdom of God.
But these broken streets are all that remain to me.
I am living among a rebellious people.
They have eyes and see nothing, they have ears and hear nothing --
yet what blame could fall to them, when they have been
cast out and exiled from God's touch?
How could they sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?
I claim these moments as my own
stealing the only coin they can take as theirs;
the guilt threatens to overwhelm me in the forever-moments
such as these when I am forced to see
what I am doing. I am a thief of time
who lays claim to seconds
that should compose their threescore and ten.
I cannot gift them my pulse
for it is needed to sing through my veins.
I cannot gift them my breath
for it can whisper through no lungs but mine own.
I have watched the parade of death from the instant
they are born, brought into this world naked and screaming
and all too aware that from that moment
they own nothing but borrowed time.
Dying is a mystery to me.
And I am a mystery to them, garbed in my borrowed identity.
O my child, the light of my eyes, why did I let you go?
Could I show you, child of earth --
could I give you my voice?
No, for it breaks when it leaves
my throat, as you broke when you lost
your love, again and again.
You are the dispossessed
from the heavens, cast out
and the only one remaining who once knew
the stars. I envy you that,
that security of having known
the face of God as he guided you.
But I know the pain of having had and then lost --
how, then, could I be othe