I touched him and the bane of all I knew, hope to know and would ever know came alive. It felt like, atoms dancing on the backdrops of unborn galaxies, collapsing and expanding at will. Like, lungs pumping air into the windows of open souls. Like, wave after wave of northern lights skipping across midnight skies etching the secrets of heaven into the bowels of men.
I touched him and felt warmth.
Not the kind of warmth that hums at the base of skulls causing neurons, electrons and the like to come alive. No. This felt like the kind of magic magicians envy; like, the kind of beauty models strive for but never seem possess; it felt like, the kind of power dictators crave but can never attain. I felt warmth. Like blood rushing through deafened ears screaming let there be light. Like passion’s pulse, spiking, flooding dams of broken hearts, filling caverns of empty dreams until the barren are seedless no more.
I touched him and pain coursed through this shell of a body I call myself, piercing, shifting the structural integrity of my mind. Like, two tectonic plates locked in an endless tango. Like, a planet writhing in birth pangs calling forth creation’s fate.
I touched him and felt His blood sing.
I felt death weep, bliss dance and passion burn as fallow grounds break open with mouths like empty graves, wailing like infants thirsting for milk.
I touched him and the palette of my soul flat lined, defying the tenets of science and modern medicine because the dead do live. The broken can walk. And the desolate will soar like eagles forever sustained by cosmic winds that never dwindle; like, joy that erupts from oceans ringing with the belly laughter of babies; like, creation’s splendor dancing as flames in the eyes of innocent hearts.
I touched him and the knowledge of ten-thousand noted scholars, scientists and physicists of the last 100 centuries became my footstool. Because eyes have not seen. Ears have not heard. And the mind will never, ever, comprehend that at a word, the invisible breathed, causing life and blood to impede upon errs wagered in sin and shame. Bone to bone. Flesh to flesh. Sinew to sinew. Yes, dry bones can live.
I touched him and heard the sound of the abundance of rain, rushing, warring like iron whetting iron, like words honing minds, like destinies clawing through time birthing legacies that stifle black holes steeped in fear.
What do you see Elijah? Do you see hope the size of a mustard seed boring holes through unrented veils of the heart? Do you see power burning in the veins of the least of these, carrying truth on the wings of angels sent to take no prisoners?
What do you see Elijah? I see the goliaths of a generation lost in the pride of its own power. I see the lame blinded by the glitz of their own iniquities. I see the people of Babel clamoring to be gods in their own sight, trampling roses underfoot, bloodletting dreams on the altars of Baal and Ciroc. I see pain the likes no man has ever known as rebellion gives rise to damnation, as flesh makes way for temptation, as suffering becomes the universal patois of humanity. What say you Elijah? I say but dry bones can live.
I touched him and fiery coals forged from the purest flame fell like hot ash on my bare skin, burning, scourging, like jack hammers boring through jaws clenched in sorrow. Like, molten flames licking at shame-breathed pains that pick at open sores. Like, fiery furnaces made to cremate deadened dreams.
I touched him and fire filled my lungs, and flames charred my tongue urging my soul to travail in olden songs, to bellow wide like the dawn of a new day whose sunrise is inevitable, and whose power is yet to be seen.
I touched him and grace spread through me like wildfire, quenching thirsty trees and barren landscapes of empty dreams void of fruit. It felt like, warm tiger balm on weary joints. Like, passion’s kiss between wanton lovers too enamored with each other to know which way is up. So, they, stand locked in pleasure’s embrace just in case tomorrow never comes. Just in case the watchmen never thirst for the morning. Just in case the prophets labor in vain.
I touched him and death swam deep, steeped in crimson waves crashing against mangled frames, bruising one body to erase all iniquity from now ‘til eternity. Like, angels ascending and descending of ladders of contrite souls easing burdens of weary minds, birthing purpose in ashen lives. Like, Noah defying the talk of a nation lacking the intellect to walk the walk that would save humanity from the brink of extinction. Like, Rahab the prostitute whose bloodline produced the greatest love of all time. Like, Puah who defied an Egyptian Pharaoh and let the baby with a destiny to split the Red Sea live. Like, Hezekiah whose judgment of death was overturned by a love overrun with worship so pure, it altered the course of his-story.
I touched him and felt the nails drive through my sides, stinging my eyes as blood and water pooled at my feet. I touched him and love exploded with the force of a million atom bombs obliterating everything in its wake causing everything to die that I might live. Like, old things passing away and beholding the splendor of new things in its wake. Like, deers that pant for sweet waters. Like, springs that refresh dusty wells. Like, air that expand lungs and food that nourish souls. I touched him, the hem of a garment too worthy for nobles and kings. I touched him and the train of his robe breathed glory that sings. I touched him. I touched him and the bane of all I knew came alive.
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"Touch" is on fire with imagery. I would write out my favorite line, but they all work so well with themselves and with each other. Even though this poem takes its words all the way to the end of its lines and is quite long, the sheer vividness and evocative power of the images enabled me to cut right through it. A definite tour-de-force--keep it up!
Samuel, thank you so much for taking the time to read this piece and offer splendid insight into the imagery and the power it provokes. I greatly appreciate it.
And yes, I'll keep it up.
The imagery is splendid! I can see every lavish word, dripping with heartfelt feelings of a love greater than one's self. The emotion conveyed through these simple words are almost too much for the extremely mortal human heart to carry, and such a struggle it is for the human mind to conceive its limitless boundaries. Love is quite the complicated emotion, and I can tell that you, my dear friend, understand it fully, and can convey it so clearly that even a person so mixed up as me can understand.