From Tinder To Flame
Chapter 1 of Uriel’s Prophecies
I meet Uriel in a park across the street
From a local cafe in Little Italy,
Their mask bright and glittering with fractal
Holographic flames, covering half their face
Short thick curls of their beard peeping
Out in the gaps of the string looped
Around ears pierced — the left stretched out
While the right dangle-flashes a sun disc.
The dark skin of their brows shimmers with
Citrine body glitter and watchful jet eyes
Are limned in russet-gold eyeliner,
Staring out from underneath a black beanie
Patched with an image of a yellow sword.
Perched on a picnic table, scuffed boots
With spikes, olive jeans ripped at the knees,
Wrapped in a long leather jacket lined
In sorrel faux fur.
They’re looking down, at their phone,
As I approach, thumb gliding across
Letters as they text verses in a
Notepad app, rocking their head to
A beat only they can hear.
“Are you an angel–?” I begin
And they snort-giggle, eyes rolling,
Still scribble-typing while they answer.
“Cheesy pick up line. Just cuz we met
On a dating app doesn’t mean you have
To go all out. You know, attraction
To anything, desire itself, is a force
A movement towards completion.
Some people think completion is fucking
But sometimes it’s like Voltron, y’know,
You need that other robot to make the
Bigger robot that’ll save the world.”
I didn’t know, but I wanted to,
As I swung up beside them,
Hips touching, we huddled together
Against the temperamental wind
Knifing across so-called Ottawa.
“Whatcha writing about?”
“The world is ending, always,”
Uriel announces. “Even as it’s
Always beginning. We shape it,
Creations and Prophecies.
We’re in a plague, y’know,
And alliances and lines
Are being drawn, but even the
Simplest things like from a
Super market are tainted
By stuff we can’t even see.
Do we take on those sins
Of corporations and sweatshops
Of government exploitation
And paramilitary murders
And the displacement of the
Stewards of the lands
And the endless scarring marring
Pollution of the earth mother
Every time we buy something?
Feed into the hungry
Spider demon that is
Global capitalism, a squatting
Ever-hungry wraith hording
Profits and resources
In their belly? Ever-shifting
To keep from being destroyed
Planting dreams of
And Individual-Only Truths.”
My gloved fingers flex
In my pockets, as I study
The crooked grass beneath
The picnic bench, the
Sounds of traffic and excitable
Doggos flooding the silence
Of Uriel’s tirade.
“So… um, are you looking for a
Hookup then, or a partner…?”
I ask tentatively.
“Because your profile wasn’t clear…”
They swing those onyx-bright eyes
At me, intent. “I’m looking for a prophet.
Someone to sing ancient warnings
With, and dance of a future
Where we are all reconnected again
Through the gates of the spirit worlds,
Communally healing the soul wounds
Of humanity, of this planet. You in?”
I take their hand firmly with both of mine
As an answer, and our bodies sway
In the space between words.
When we disentangle, it is with
Awkward muffled mumblings
And sanitizer rubbed all over
Fingers and palms and knuckles.
But the promise of reunion
Was laid out in the skipping
Steps on cracked pavement
That lead us each home.
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