The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine

28818930.jpg– Each time you bid farewell to a place, voracious flesh-eating fish swim up from your depths, vultures circle your skies, and your city’s dead quiver with fury in their graves and band on their coffins, but then your homeland feels too paltry, a canoe tied to a branch by your mother’s hair. –

–I talk to you, but you’re only in my head, and once I get rid of you, I’ll be back to normal, get thee behind me, Satan.
Walmart sells an oil for that, Satan said, it’s called Satan Be Gone, a little dab will do ya. –

– How can you not know your history? I yelled over and over. You with your righteous apathy, how can you allow the world to forget us, to delete our existence, the grand elision of queer history? –

– I was wrong, I did write, time passed and I forgot, I wrote because I had nothing else to do in the world, I wrote, my voice as out of tune as I was. –

– “No,” Satan said. “I had nothing to do with his mother-in-law.”
“I didn’t think so,” Death said. “That level of evil is way beyond you, she belonged to Jesus all the way.”
“Yes,” Satan said. “Even I was surprised at such maleficence.” –

– A poet is tormented by the horrors of this world, as well as its beauty, but he can be refreshed, reborn even; he can take to the sky once more. Think phoenix, not Icarus.” –

– Listen to me, Satan said, his eyes infused with flames, get thee out of Eden, poetry can never be unstained. –

– Walk of shame, my ass, I was sizzling. –

– I prefer to be called the Cast-Out Angel, Fallen Angel is just wrong, I didn’t fall out of Heaven, it’s not as if I tripped or something, that would have been a big oopsie. –


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