Jared Witt | April 2, 2021
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
Silence. No response.
I shout again into the silent vacuum.
I cry to the void and hear nothing back.
Can I speak more clearly? Did I enunciate?
Were they not the pious cries you’d hoped to hear?
I cry out differently and in a different tone.
Still nothing. Nothing. Nihilo. Silence.
The silence of a withholding father.
A politician’s deflection. A banker’s smirk.
My depression chuckles.
Does it amuse you, my forsakenness?
Does a fool say in his heart, there is no God?
Or does a fool say in his heart, help is on the way?
Your cathedrals collapse, your altars and stained glass,
beneath the weight of one emaciated child.
Look, you serve your own interest on your day,
And oppress all your people.
Why do we fast, but you do not see?
I hate, I despise your festivals,
And I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?
Why humble ourselves if it won’t see the child’s belly filled
I’ve seen him. I’ve seen his discalced feet. His jagged ribs.
Each one of them, a heresy, a protest,
An as yet undefeated argument for atheism.
I’ve seen that hungry child’s stare
He stares at me, and all else is rendered grotesque.
I think of family barbecues, of little league jerseys, of ten speed bikes before a Christmas Tree.
I whence in disgust.
I know I’ll not forget the sight of his belly
somehow bulbous but hollow as a dried up gourd.
My breakfast sits heavy in my own.
An omelet: onions, red peppers, sauteed potatoes, and goat cheese,
Dark roasted arabica coffee, the kind you can’t get in the states.
My diet plan on hold for now.
Even the dogs get the crumbs at the child’s table
And so this child stares.
I open my pockets but a passport won’t help.
Some DoS travel advisory saw a boogeyman,
And so I have nothing for him.
His eyes look right through me; variegated chestnut.
The kind of hue they sell to women on hair cair products.
Beautiful if not for some awful vacancy.
I look back and open my mouth, but the words don’t come.
I can’t meet his eyes so I stare down at the dirt.
A red drop of something falls before me. Day becomes night.
I look up again, this time determined to meet the child’s face
But instead I’m looking at his tortured feet.
I stumble backward and lift my gaze higher.
It’s the child I see but somehow transfigured
His arms outstretched. His ribs jutting sickly.
His face a mess of dried blood. The blood at his side still dripping.
Somebody come. Someone do something. Shouldn’t we help him?
I think it, but I don’t say it.
I take notice: there are crowds gathered round me. Equally frozen.
They had the same thought: someone do something.
“Say his name,” I want to tell them, then realize I don’t know it.
His lips move, but the voice doesn’t catch.
“I can’t breathe,” they motion.
He is on his own up there.
Desolate. Abandoned. Afraid. Forsaken.
Still, I am silent.
A blog that is too churchy for your drinking buddies and too drinky for your churching buddies.