Sunday, January 28, 2007
The Bad Magician Dances On The Road To Damascus
The Bad Magician becomes a child, and makes an army of fingers. On the floor of the desert hands become tanks and troops are deployed. Choosing to become a giant, the Bad Magician fashions a dark covenant; clouds roll by and whisper. The fingers report: "We have danced on the road to Damascus, and made like ants into the sand. We are waiting for the men in suits."
The Bad Magician mixes colors for a special piece of art: the insides of the eyes of the Middle Eastern God are painted to suggest the land of Abu Grahib, and the scarecrow shadows envelop the field of vision, and black birds build nests of bones along the eyebrows. Yahweh lies decrepit, covered in a pale coat of lifeless dust; he tries to rise but breaks in a thousand pieces, like the fracturing skin of a weathered lie.
The Generals turn to see the darkening of the sun and suspect that a cadre of local merchants possess a secret. God is dead in Iraq. Long live God. The Generals lay their men out on white cloth, and put chokeholds on their hearts.
The Bad Magician, in top hat, tails and with an elegant cane, emerges with the ants, the army of the hands of children; the Bad Magician crooks his arms and jitterbugs in the desert, the wind a whirling partner on the road to Damascus.
More soldiers die. More civilians bleed. A child holds his hand up towards the heavy sun, wondering if his fingers will march like the dead. The Generals, sworn to perform their duty, see only shadows in the night. They fear the dance.