Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rembrandt's Raising of Lazarus, 1642

Of course he'd be coming
from the ground. Follow
Christ's eyebeam to find
the resurrected man,
somebody's brother,
somebody's lover, look
where Christ tells him
to come out.
And suddenly
he is with us again,
mostly just a face
is what we see, i.e.,
an identity.
This was Lazarus.
This man died
until he heard a voice
denying his understanding
up to now of his dark condition.
The voice said to do something,
come, come out
of where you think you are.
The face of Lazarus
peels off the ground.
Already he begins to tell
the story he'll be telling year after year
interpreting, maybe finally even
understanding the way he was,
the place he was, the thing
that happened to him and then
the thing that happened to that.
I was dead and then was not—who else can say that but me?
We're tired of hearing your story
but we love your face.

~ Robert Kelly

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