Messiah

by Cindy M. Kelly


i.
On Sunday morning
Lydia sat in the grass
with her friend Eostre,
painting seven eggs.

"Why do people paint
eggs for you?" Lydia asked
Eostre. And Eostre said,
"That is a long story,
one I have not told
in a very long time."

Lydia nodded.
"We have all the time
in the world,"
she said.

Eostre flopped her ears
out of her eyes,
hopped close.
"This is why,"
Eostre whispered
like it was a secret.

"Long ago, when all rabbits
could talk, there was a time
of great mourning.
Our good friend Attis
was dead, was murdered.
A misunderstanding,
you see.

On this day, today,
but long long ago,
He was resurrected,
he smelled of pine
and of almonds
of old wood,
of the earth
and of good.

We threw a party,
and we danced
and feasted,
Attis spoke softly
to the crows,
the blackbirds,
the ravens,
the sparrows,
their friends.

And they laid eggs
like we never saw before,
like we never saw since,
with patterns and colors
and whimsy and wonder
and they were so pretty
other rabbits were speechless
and have been ever since."
She said it matter-of-factly,
shook her little bunny tail
and that was that.

ii.
One fine Sunday
The Boku went fishing,
wore his lucky galoshes,
just in case.

He was low
on magic, you see.
So he caught him a puffer
fish, a porcupine fish,
smashed their heads
with stones 'til they stopped
flopping around,
'til he was certain
they were dead.

He cut them up
in little stars,
dried them in the sun
on a big rock,
ground the stars
into powder,
mixed it in
pomegranate juice,
made a paste.

He rubbed it
onto Attis' skin,
on his dead eyelids
between his dead toes,
behind his ears,
on his elbows,
over his blue lips,
his cold hips,
and his eyebrows,
rubbed it in everywhere,
rubbed it in good.

He waited
seven days,
seven nights,
and when Attis rose
from the dead
and Boku said,
"Go forth now,
My son, and eat
their brains."
And he did,
and that was that.

iii
Lydia asked Eostre,
"But why do we paint
eggs for you?"
And Eostre said,
"Because I am the Goddess
of Making Things Grow
and I remember.
You paint them
that I might
favor you,
bless you
with many children.
For I like eggs
and pretty things.
You do it for me,
to make me happy.

"I'm done," Lydia said.
She put her brush down.
Eostre's nose twitched.
Lydia painted
all seven eggs black.