Visual Narratives

Missing Angel

Missing Angel

There is a thing confusedly formed

Born before heaven and earth

Silent and void

It stands alone and does not change

Goes around and does not weary

It is capable of giving birth to the world

—Lao-Tzu

 

—March 17th. Berkeley, Northern California.

 

The airmail envelope has an over-sized stamp with the picture of an Italian church on the upper right corner, her name and address embossed on a white label in the center, and no return address. Inside, there is a smaller envelope, the color of a used cigarette filter, which contains two things: a generic business card of OAS, Organization for Advancement of Science, the company her mother worked for in Rome, and a handwritten note, dated seventeenth of March of two years earlier, the day of her eighteenth birthday, and the day her parents were blown to pieces in Rome.

The note reads:

 In the lost Theatre, find the Missing Angel

Who goes through the kingdom of death without death?

Hence, if I held my peace, myself I blame not.

Where human passions quell, look to the worst sin of all.

P.S. Happy Twentieth

Despite the anger that washes through her pores like sweat, despite the conviction that this has to be a ruse the words take her back to another time. Riddles were a family tradition: riddles for her birthday, riddles for Christmas, riddles to find the carefully concealed Easter Eggs. Luna can see her mother, dimpled jaw stuck forward in challenge, quoting: Riddles are the enigmas of our lives, truths we dare not look in the eye. Teresa Davila’s riddles were laced with a unique and whimsical voice that is etched in Luna’s mind in indelible footprints, and the Dantesque style of this riddle, the witty and quaint voice of these lines with their erratic rhyming match those footprints through and through. And the Post Scriptum thrown in like an afterthought—that, too, is….

 


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