A Glory of Angels


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i. Temperantia

the first time you see it is at 2.31 am and you’re dreaming of trumpets of light  and of falling.

it is inches from your face and made of sound alone and it proves or disproves string theory with its existence alone— a thing of teeth and tongue and fire

        and eyes

                and eyes

                        and eyes

                                and eyes





you blink and it is not an it anymore but a they, identity in front of them like a mask and from beyond the mask, a voice forming a perfect octave spoken directly into your cognizance

be not afraid

you are afraid but you aren’t, they are awe inspiring and incomprehensible.

you find your voice, ugly in comparison, from behind your teeth in your too large mouth, “Why are you here?”

the mask blinks in a way too deliberate to be natural because their eyes still aren’t exactly right, and the voice answers

prophet, be aware

and just like it appeared it is gone, dissipated into microwaves and radio signals and all you can do is go back to sleep. Humanity and divinity is the oldest love story ever told, spinning in circles around each other in loops but never wavering.

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ii. Humilitas

its charge is 3 and so perfect with her imperfections it can understand why The Lord forgives creation for everything they do, why the Maker waits for them, why the Creator filled the earth with species for them to find and name.

It does not know what is in store for its charge— predestination voids free will, and humanity without free will is not humanity.

It sings her songs she will not remember, songs sung in heaven in front of God, the whole host uniting in harmony it hopes it can capture an infinitesimal part of that so she can see the songs, and when she smiles at it and reaches out, it allows her to hold a single feather that is not on fire. If it could, it would giver her the world but it is not allowed to interfere lest it takes away her choice, lest it takes away her will.

She will not remember but her soul will know as they whisper

you are the reason for my existence,

my God-given purpose,

without you I have no meaning.

She chews on the feather and laughs and is so completely delightful, so utterly human, it can’t help but fall in love.

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iii. Humanitas

There is an angel in your room – all their arms too long, eyes instead of joints and parts of it unmade. They can speak to your phone but not to you, so you take to sending yourself texts to talk to them. It takes a month before they can speak.

Judged by the tribunal and cast out into ___

I have never had silence before it is terrifying

___ will not answer, ___ will not answer

I am not unmade

I have not fallen

How do you survive like this?

You blink slowly, helping an angel out of an existential crisis isn’t your forte but you try anyway. “With alcohol mostly” you say bringing out a bottle of whiskey you were saving for after finals, but you figure an angel roommate attempting to water a cactus is a good enough reason. The whiskey dissolves into them and for a few seconds each and every one of their eyes close. They breathe and are left with just two eyes and two arms and they smile with too much teeth and are awful in the oldest sense of the word, but you smile back and take another shot.

You are no one to judge

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