chorus & hero

When it came it came with eyes
We could not close our eyes to escape its gaze
When it came it came with eyes that looked through our lids
That looked through our eyes     its eyes
Looked below the hair on our heads that did or did not blow
In the wind branching out of our brains the sky
Gathered in a cave where each one of us says I and I echoes
It came and gazed into us until it found itself staring back
When he returned from the underworld he thought his eyes
Were the same eyes he opened to the shades
His eyes dilated in the dark until he could see in the dark
The darkness opened in his head until his head could not contain it
He did not know night followed him when he returned
He could not see behind him     his children
Stared at him with his own eyes when he came home to see them
He did not know he was the danger they were in     the gods
Put vision in his eyes     he did not think he could not
See the difference long ago he notched the arrows he shot
Sometimes we see with our ears the blood on hero’s hands
Sometimes the hero walks out from his house with his hands held out
As if to ask us who cannot help but see
If these blood-covered hands are mine     are these hands mine
It’s hard to see in the night flowing out behind the hero’s head
If these hands are mine     if these hands are
Mine to close mine to turn palms up mine to bring close to my own head
To cover our eyes with the same hands we do not want to see
Ourselves looking at our hands
Children look through the mirrors their parents gave them for eyes
Tears come out the mirrors when they cry
The mirrors widen in the dark but in the dark show less
The mirrors widen in fear a little door in the mirror opens wider
We who gave birth to them live in a cave in their heads
A cave in which we watch ourselves as they hide
Behind a column or behind their mother’s robes     our children’s eyes
When a force moves through us
When our arms act because our minds command them
When our mind obeys our eyes     but our eyes
Are not our own eyes     when we see as we are forced to see
When the command comes from the gods hiding inside the eye
Replacing our eyes with a vision
We do not say I     we say we     we say we did this     we did
This act     and when it’s worse     when it’s my hands
When these hands are mine     we don’t say we
We say it     we say it came upon me     a force none could resist
Soul or breath     god or madness     it acted in me
It came      and when it came it came with eyes

(Dan Beachy-Quick)

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