Goat for Azazel


AND Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for Jehovah, and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat upon which the lot fell for Jehovah, and offer him for a sin-offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be set alive before Jehovah, to make atonement for him, to send him away for Azazel into the wilderness. — LEVITICUS xvi, 8-10.

Now it is your turn, yours by incessantly recurring lot,
To lie on an altar under the sky, apparently
Or perhaps only more apparently dead, while I perish slowly.
No near heaven with the load that I bear on my head!
But you, too, other offering, brother victim, you also
Have had your wildernesses between dust and dust.
Waters, I believe, waters undoubtedly would define
Life as a constant beating on inconstant shores.
And stones, surely stones, bear the signature
Of ancient violence and mute submission.
Ah, fellow substance,
There is no desert lonelier than the wastes within an atom,
No cliff more perilously tall
Than the one down which stars make perpetual firefall.
And the cord,
The scarlet knotted in my horns for blood to brighten,
Bewildering bond of tangled faith and fear —
Oh earth,
Have I not seen, have I not trembled,
Watching you ponderously turn toward hazardous day and lonely night,
Trembled to see upon your branchy forehead burn
The old, familiar sign, the red, oblique communication
Vibrating to an ordered violence, remote and unmalicious
Vicar of yet another agonist back of the precipice out of sight?