Sukia and Adam Cornford




at the time of the war in Gaza, 2008-9
Adam Cornford

To see the Black Angel
not descending from heaven
but risen still incandescent
out of the earth’s core
and the opening of Hell
swan-diving upward
a neural fire-arrow
through the sullen mantle
and ancient sea-bed
then the villages and stones
of Palestine Israel
leaving a hollow stem of glass
like lightning’s return stroke
a gush of terrene blood
in the shape of a woman

To see the Black Angel
cooling as she ascends
over scrub trees and low hills
scatters of wreckage
burnt-out trucks
eviscerated homes
fragments of char and bone
brass and depleted uranium
broken asphalt
then layers of night air
thermals upthrusting
into the Father’s cool vault
slow-motion drift of planets
freeze-frame of galaxies

To see the Black Angel
as her wings widen
feathered with overlaid night
glinting like Aztec blades
She soars over the cities of men
cooling to perfect black
black smooth as obsidian
agile as latex remorseless as iron
streamlined as orca
her hair long streamers of ink
her eyes fumaroles
her breasts like the spaces
around a star’s core
her sex a singularity
parting like a seed
into new physical laws
her lips in a terrible smile

To see the Black Angel
swinging a flail of sparks
as she swoops low over rooftops
Her flail reaches down
fine bright as medusa tendrils
through sleeping ceilings
of tenements and shelters
into beds into bodies
Women stir beside men
as the fire-knots brush them
From the midpoint of their spines
behind the solar plexus
news travels in all directions
up to the brain and its eyes
down to the womb
out to the callused feet
the meticulous fingers

To see the Black Angel
watching the women’s skulls
room by room street by street
hut by shack by torn tent
strung lanterns fluxing with glow
as cortical zones become active
designs for infernal machines
sketched in neon 3-D
as their vulvas flicker
into fuchsias of wet flame
their hips remember to be palaces
their hearts flex and stretch
immense paradoxical demons
winged with violet vessels

To see the Black Angel
passing over all sparing none
so the women dream
of smiles like dark birds
on their lips girl-full
mother-pursed or crone-fissured
They dream of men kneeling
begging forgiveness
of tears in men’s eyes like a tide
as the Angel passes over
of knives fallen like leaves
machine-pistols and RPGs
abandoned among the stones
by the Father’s armies

To see the Black Angel
with the terrible smile
her flail knotted with light
making the women dream
of filling the streets
immense flocks of birds
crowding over the rubble
over stain-maps of blood
past cars twisted scorched
the skulls of dogma
they dream of governments
and parties imploding
like bomb-struck buildings
blast waves in reverse
time’s arrow like the Angel
flung back from the Omega

To see the Black Angel
passing over moving on
as the women dream of power
and of waking to make it
they dream of all the lords
lords of oil and mirrors
of smoke and water
lords of light and money
of love and shadow
of all these lords descended
by sighing elevators
from their armored heavens
shrunk into men trembling
in expensive rags
as all those they used for so long
dance with mouths open
drinking solar wine

To see the Black Angel
when Hell reclaims the world
as a forest of branching flame
a garden of unbound spirits
every leaf every root holy
under the oxygen eyes
of Gaia into whose body
the Angel has returned
black as abandoned veils
as the inside of touch
a drop of black ink
abruptly silvered
by a four-dimensional mirror
in the shape of a woman
a woman striding
taller than thought itself
whose face reflects the unbounded
in the faces of all
the living on earth

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