The Silent God, The Suffering Kings

By Don McCormick

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani — my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? The lament echoes still across the hills of Jerusalem and the flatlands of Texas. Forsaken, I saw God and he was my enemy and I slew him. There is a divine silence feeding my doubt and fears. I would be King and put away the God who is within, the One who loves his enemies.

This Silent God waits for me in a pool of quicksand on the dark trail to my house. He is where I am not. Were he in me, I would have killed myself because I do not know love. I have built my house on a rock and I have built a ship in a dry-dock, but I am afraid of walking alone.

People sleep safely in my neighborhood. They are not murdered by nightstalkers who, like me, slay the divine silence within.

Why do would-be Kings insist on living? Why have the poor not eaten the rich? Who is the enemy of man? When it is just me to consider, I want my enemies to die, and then, like Satan, I will be alone. I will chase down the offenders and cut their throats and burn their bodies. Afterward, I will dine with my family and sing Christmas songs and wish that the hollow feeling in my chest could be treated by drugs.

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? When you are a King, you are alone. God will forsake you and you will suffer and die. If you come back from hell, and if your friends who are would-be Kings see you, they will be afraid and they will run from you. You will have brought the God within to the stupid, the blind, and the terrified. You will have touched doubt and he will have put his hand on your private parts. You will be afraid to kill God. Instead, it is likely that you will be killed by a King whose God is silent and who is a reasonable man, a man you can trust with your money.

There is a little pool of ice on the moon, a hidden surplus from the Silent God. The Kings will steal it and move it to their houses and use it to water their gardens. They will rent the vapors to their neighbors and their neighbors will bless them for having distributed God’s hidden surplus in the most reasonable way. They will have leased it to the worthy, to other Kings, who will kill for them and who have already killed the Ice Maker, the Creator of Moons, the One who does not answer.

I listen to the mountains and to the wind and to the water. God is silent. Where is my conscience? Where is the woman that stood in front of my rifle when I killed my enemies? Why is she weeping? What child has she lost? Can God be in everyone and yet dead in Kings? I am hollow. I have drunk blood and it has not turned me red. I have feasted on the breasts of women and I am starved. Every vision of tomorrow is a night without a moon, and every sound is an owl hooting. The winter is here. Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

The roads in Mexico do not lead to markets. Mexico is a hundred countries, all with one name. There is a picture of the woman God loved in the heart of these hundred countries. She was there before Cortez. Every Juan Diego has a rifle and every Maria hides her children from Kings like me. Still, as when Cortez was there, they have nothing but minerals, except for the God within, who is a woman. There is nothing for the poor so they let them die. Pemex did well, but God was shot and his body was left in El Paso. No one claimed it. His mother spread her robe over all of the stars and all of the countries that are Mexico.

I killed three men in my heart yesterday, and God did not stop me. He said nothing. He does not talk to Kings. If you want to be a god, you can be one, but when you are, He who is within is not there. The men I killed were Kings, too. Five minutes after they died, they were forgotten, except by me. I keep their bodies in my chest where there is room for a whole universe of hollow thoughts and feelings. Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

I know nine good people. That is enough for a Heavenly Banquet. That is enough to remake the whole world. These nine people hear what isn’t said. Their eyes see what isn’t visible. They don’t speak. They will leave the ice on the moon. They are covered by the robe of the Virgin and they have no names for themselves. I want to hide in one of their hearts.

The king is dead, long live the King.

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