MIchael Murphy The Man Who Walked on Water
Let’s not, love, say never again. We’ve reason
to have faith, to believe in bodies changing
shape, casting off the old life for an unimagined
new. Take, for example, your man who walked
on water and astounded his friends.
Word got round the local hacks, then Gay Byrne
screened footage live on The Late Late Show.
Proud at first, his family soon went exdirectory.
The begging letters, obscene
calls, a red-faced papal nuncio
bullying Latin at the door. The phenomenon,
they asked, was it congenital? That sleight
redistribution of weight as he rose
to his feet; the way his eyes looked past them
without warmth or recognition?
He became (or so some said) an amalgam
of early-hours hail and rain, then something
else again. His voice, so unlike him,
like a jay ratcheting song from out its throat;
his smile, a bare bulb in an empty room,
vouchsafing a soul left to burn all night.
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