The Devil Appear’d in the Shape of a Man

The devil appeared in the shape of a man, that man bearing the name Thomas Pleasant.

The devil appeared in the shape of a man, Thomas Pleasant being he who through 40 stokes of a stringent blade did dismember the most high judge of the court of the town of Wilkshire.

The devil appeared in the shape of a man, Thomas Pleasant, blood covered, his countenance sweating and red-purple and contorted with pain.

The devil appeared in the shape of a man, he being Thomas Pleasant, shouting at the ceiling, cursing God’s name with barbarous words and begging and demanding by turns with guttural voice–laughing and crying with madness–for the end of time.

The devil appeared in the shape of a man, Thomas Pleasant, as he covered himself with the filth of the corpse with his bare hands, undressing, and licking his hands, looking about like a wild animal while muttering profane words to himself in dead tongues.

And the devil who appeared in the shape of a man, Thomas Pleasant, did exit that house of the former high judge, breaking the door in transit, and burst forth into the night as the rain fell and the world cracked open with thunderous noise.

Flashes of lightning punctuated the dark, exposing the frames of Thomas Pleasant’s movement through the trees, first here, now there, the falling rain washing the blood from him, rivers of purity tracing paths through thick brown and red.

He ran, bounding with inhuman strength and speed, the high branches of trees becoming his ground as he did leap from one to another, going from height to height ever greater.

With a push of his legs, which caused the aged, strong tree beneath him to crack and fall, he flew into the sky, stepping onto an invisible, unearthly ground and laughing in his defiance of divine laws, nature being the devil’s church.

Up, up into the sky he flew until he was a mote and then disappeared, moving into an unknown place.

Aztecs

Stone steps ascending to the unknown,
A bright, star-filled darkness,
Where invisible gods dance
To music we cannot hear
And brightly colored
Flowers and feathers
Adorn the bodies
Of slaughtered, young lovers.