Enlightenment

Richard J. Rodriguez

Sed sicut scriptum est quod oculus non vidit nec auris audivit nec in cor hominis ascendit quae praeparavit Deus his qui diligunt illum.

- 1 Corinthians 2:9

Reveille, Reveille!
The heralds of eternal daylight
Flip off circuit breakers, flooding
Forth electric erudition, shocking
Suns into the skies, slinging
Melancholic moons beneath the earth:
Aeterna lux, clamantis vox,
A far cry ringing newly
Out across capacious plains.

Among rough-hewn, rejected stones
Old men, age-worn, arthritic, squirm
Pathetic in receding shade,
Bereft of novel revelation.
(Shall they never see Salvation?)
Lots cast for their ragged cloaks,
Young, bitter soldiers shuffle off
Trapped in totemic dispensations,
Idly clutching ancient signs:
Blunt characters of contradiction,
Blinding eyes in blank revision.

Thy dwelling place is here;
We have discovered it at last.
We have dismantled tabernacles,
Lusting after all their secrets.
We have strewn the hollow, brittle hosts
Concussed upon the anesthetic sands.
We do not fear; our lives are pure.
We have declared our modern wisdom: Godliness
Is next to cleanliness; this filth
Is not the Promised Land;
It cannot be. Thy holy city
Is a desert; Zion
Is a wasteland.
There is nothing for us here.

(There was nothing for them there.)

Richard J. Rodriguez is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Cambridge. He is currently studying for a medical degree.