Ophanim (Hebrew, אוֹפַנִּים ’ōfannīm)

This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like beryl, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel.Their rings were so high that they were dreadful, and all four rings were full of eyes all around. (Ezekial 1:15-18)

i. there are angels in the subway.
(and on the bus; and the interlocking highways, beat down beneath endless tire treads; and on the bikes darting through intersections like silverfish through shoals; and growling in time with the engine, their wings tucked away behind the staring-bright headlights of cabs; and racing alongside, their bare feet on blacktop, spinning, skimming, urging homeward, homeward)
but mostly, there are angels in the subway.
ii. ophanim cannot keep still—they are not grigori, they are not made to merely watch. the angel called raziel finds herself breaking the minor rules of physics behind the wheel of an ambulance; writes friction off as unnecessary when a child’s pulse is fluttering. the angel jophiel has no patience for such metal casing, prefers the marriage of physics and humanity that is a messenger bicycle; the art of keeping your balance by moving forward. 
sometimes, when the road is slick with rain and streetlights are burning white and hazy, it is almost like flying.
iii. (there is a moment before the subway train appears, when the earth shudders under approaching thunder, and the stale air of the station rouses, churns, whipping itself against the walls, and indeed the very world heralds the coming of the prime mover.)
iv. once a month they gather on the girders of a half-built skyscraper—there is always one, the city does not keep still any more than they do. they speak in tongues about the traffic on I-90, exchange recipes, stretch out their wings after long days of hiding feathers beneath false skins. they are always shifting, sparking; a hundred thousand eyes and all saccadic.
the next day, the girders are scored with tire tracks no workman can explain and raziel and jophiel run, laughing, to the subway, leaving skid marks where their feet don’t touch the ground.
v. in chicago, the subway is called the El.
(angels do not believe in coincidence.)
{part of the series THE CITY IS FULL OF WINGS}

Ophanim (Hebrew, אוֹפַנִּים ’ōfannīm)

This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like beryl, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel.Their rings were so high that they were dreadful, and all four rings were full of eyes all around. (Ezekial 1:15-18)

i. there are angels in the subway.

(and on the bus; and the interlocking highways, beat down beneath endless tire treads; and on the bikes darting through intersections like silverfish through shoals; and growling in time with the engine, their wings tucked away behind the staring-bright headlights of cabs; and racing alongside, their bare feet on blacktop, spinning, skimming, urging homeward, homeward)

but mostly, there are angels in the subway.

ii. ophanim cannot keep still—they are not grigori, they are not made to merely watch. the angel called raziel finds herself breaking the minor rules of physics behind the wheel of an ambulance; writes friction off as unnecessary when a child’s pulse is fluttering. the angel jophiel has no patience for such metal casing, prefers the marriage of physics and humanity that is a messenger bicycle; the art of keeping your balance by moving forward. 

sometimes, when the road is slick with rain and streetlights are burning white and hazy, it is almost like flying.

iii. (there is a moment before the subway train appears, when the earth shudders under approaching thunder, and the stale air of the station rouses, churns, whipping itself against the walls, and indeed the very world heralds the coming of the prime mover.)

iv. once a month they gather on the girders of a half-built skyscraper—there is always one, the city does not keep still any more than they do. they speak in tongues about the traffic on I-90, exchange recipes, stretch out their wings after long days of hiding feathers beneath false skins. they are always shifting, sparking; a hundred thousand eyes and all saccadic.

the next day, the girders are scored with tire tracks no workman can explain and raziel and jophiel run, laughing, to the subway, leaving skid marks where their feet don’t touch the ground.

v. in chicago, the subway is called the El.

(angels do not believe in coincidence.)




{part of the series THE CITY IS FULL OF WINGS}

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