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"these Angels of Death will pass over me"

Published onJan 31, 2024

Photo by Jason Steele:

Every morning, I pass a bronze statue of Moses.
An idiom got lost, once, somewhere along the golden chain,
among the Hebrew and Aramaic, the Latin and Greek;
Moses’s “shining face” morphed into a “horned head.”
On each temple, he wears a little metal nub.

Every morning, I pass a bronze replica of Moses,
and I’m terrified
by how much Sculptors and Historians get wrong,
and I’m comforted
because I’ve smeared mediocrity on my posts and lintels
— these Angels of Death will pass over me.

My children or my siblings or my friends or the State
will get me a sensibly priced headstone,
which will crumble
before new peoples
can eulogize me,

can give me horns.

Peter Mikulski is a reader, a writer, an undergraduate student of medieval studies at the University of Notre Dame, and a proud Midwesterner — raised in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana. His work has been published in print by his high school’s literary journal, Menagerie, and online at his blog, Contact him at [email protected].

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