Michael

Michael Artwork By:Mary Daniels

By: Renee Y. Brown

Michael, archangel
Arch your wings over me
A shelter, a refuge
From the ordinary flesh
Of this world.
Michael, Saint Michael –
I didn’t know until now
Protector, defender, prince of angels,
Soldier, leader
Of good against evil –
I chose the right name when I chose yours
To name the man I knew I’d never know in this world.
It wasn’t intentional, that choice of name. Maybe it was instinct. Maybe just random chance.
I’m no believer in angels and saints. Miracles may happen but they don’t happen to me.
Twenty years ago I left part of this world and entered my own. I knew where I was going. That was a choice. But I didn’t know my world and yours might intersect someday. I told you,
I’m no believer in angels and saints.
I’m no believer in god or gods.
But now I know something is out there beyond myself. It might as well be you.
I like the idea of a warrior saint who fights human evil, a prince of angels who defeats the prince of devils. I’d rather believe in angels and saints than superheroes.
And I will create my own reality rather than live in someone else’s. It’s bad enough that I have to live here, in this one.
If I owned this world, I’d still rent it out and live elsewhere.
Where you are. Where the man I named ‘Michael’ is.
Michael, meaning, ‘one who is like God.’ Your name suits him, although I’ll say ‘a god,’ rather than ‘the God,’ just in case. I haven’t gotten that far… yet, so I won’t presume.
But as one who fights for justice, which isn’t law or revenge, but lack-of-want and balance;
As a defender of good, which isn’t morality or ethics but love and compassion;
And a defeater of evil which doesn’t mean destruction and punishment but salvation and forgiveness;
And having the ultimate courage, because courage isn’t only being brave but selfless;
If that is who you are your saintliness, then I chose the right name… or perhaps, he chose his own.
How could I know? I couldn’t. I didn’t.
But I was right. My Michael is just like you, except he wears a suit and tie with the scales of justice at his side. (And if justice isn’t balance, why is it symbolized by scales?)
He’s not of this world, but he’s in it. He’s in it in me. I’d say ‘lucky girl,’ but I make my own luck, so it ain’t luck at all.
I was standing in the gutter with everyone, but like some I’m always looking up, and saw him amongst the stars. He said, “I’m yours, aren’t I?”
So here, and there, we are.
He’s not perfect, of course, but oh he does try.
Michael, my Michael, more than a man, but no angel, no saint. Not yet anyway. A lover, a warrior, but with a different sword.
A seeker of justice, defender of good, defeater of evil, his weapons are words.
Which works in a world built of words. Like my dead best friend always said,
“If reality sucks, create your own.”
For there is no justice in the world. The good die from being good and the evil build custom homes in gated communities.
The world needs Michael as much as I do and I would gladly share him as defender –
The warrior for homeless veterans and the mentally ill;
minimum-wage workers with three jobs who live in their cars or on couches;
fetuses who became adorable babies who became children their parents now regret with rage and red strap-marks;
the generation who created the 21st century but can’t get a job today because Wal-Mart has millions of starving young American slaves and only so many old geniuses can be greeters.
Give me these, the unwanted, the teeming refuse of our Christ-challenged market economy so that I may give them my Michael, and like you he’ll defeat Satan,
except this time in the devil’s own custom-built home beyond Hell’s Gate as the cowardly demon tries to blend in with the 3-D TV.
I would give them all my Michael the defender, seeker of justice if I could…
If I could pull him out of my mind and make him real in this world. But I can’t in this current space-time continuum. Maybe next one? I promise.
He’s worth the wait.
He’s worth everything.
And I never knew what the name meant, who it was, until this moment, now. Saint Michael, you showed me the signs.
He always had courage and compassion, but now I can see my Michael with the wings of an angel, a warrior fighting in defense of the poor, the sick, the forsaken,
the lonely, the grief-stricken, the unloved. All of us cast aside by the world;
the rubbish that blocks the beautiful view, the worthless who breathe air that belongs to the financially-superior surgically-enhanced famous girl.
I would give them all Michael the warrior, sword and scales-of-justice he holds;
But Michael the man, the lover, the one with the rose –
That Michael is mine and mine alone.
Michael, my Michael, now I know who you are.
You’re the one who holds my hand and tells jokes while I lie on the execution table, needles in my arms, looking up at you and laughing.
You walk with me, side-by-side, hand-in-hand, across the golden gate I’ve never seen.
You are the one who is with me always.
You’re the one who looks like a god and acts like a god and fucks like a god without being God.
That’s my Michael.
Thanks for letting me borrow the name, your saintliness. But I wouldn’t mind if you gave him a pair of wings. That part isn’t up to me, but I just gotta ask. He looks good in white,
with that black hair and blue eyes.
Let a girl have her whims, can’t ya, sometimes.
And it’s not as if I don’t appreciate what I’ve got.
After all by the time I get there with him, it will have been such a very long time, I might as well be a virgin again.
Virgin – again…oxymoron, I know.
But he’ll be all dressed in white, my Michael, he will. Holding one white rose. A pair of white wings would go well
With his wedding clothes.
And your saintly brother Francis shall preside, as we say his own vows:
“It is in giving that we receive.
“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
“And it is in dying that we are born unto eternal life.”
And I’ll say:
“I take thee, Michael, as my wedded husband
“To love, honor and cherish from this moment on,
“In good times and none bad;
“Without sickness or death;
“Forsaking all others forever –
“Never to part.”
Oh Michael, Michael
I do
I do
Oh Michael, god Michael
My god
It’s You.

 

Renee Y. Brown is a former journalist and an army veteran currently engaged in writing full-time. She has a book of short stories, Luna Ascending, published by ArtemisPress.com . She writes fiction, non-fiction, poetry and is now trying her hand at writing a screenplay. Originally from Los Angeles, she now lives in Dallas. Her Linked-In page can be viewed at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/renee-y-brown/6/682/86b
 
The artist of the Illustration is Mary Daniels who lives in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, U.K. and has an ebay store at: Mary Jane’s Art and Crafts