The Book of Voices

Biblical Microfictions by Joseph Zitt

Nathan

(Context: 1 Chronicles 3:5)

Again, one of my brothers has killed another. Or perhaps he has had him killed. I no longer keep track of the details, or of how many brothers have died, or of how many brothers survive. Thanks to my father and his many women, I seem to have had an endlessly replenishing supply of brothers. As far as I know, we have only had one sister, and none of us have heard from her in many years. But brothers kept being born, and brothers keep dying. I try not to think about it much. I don’t think about it much. I carry on.

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October 27, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ezekiel

(Context: Ezekiel 1:3)

I am soft stone, yes, a heap of dust that only God’s word can animate, that returns to dust when God’s will is done. The animal sense of my body drags me from my sleeping mat to a table to the rain barrel as I awaken, feed myself, clean myself. The dogs of the street that I once befriended bring me their scraps to eat. The rats and the rain carry away my waste. I sit in silent stupor, waiting for God’s word, fearing God’s word. When he needs me to dance for him, he puts visions in my head, causes me to demean myself, to rant like an idiot in the eyes of the people. Then I sit again, speechless, broken, cowed. I do not complain. There is nothing left within me that knows how to complain.

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October 19, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Belshazzar

(Context: Daniel 5:1)

Here, now, I am waiting; in this gaping, gasping silence, in the midst of this blaring party, waiting; in this air suffused with incense, with the scents of meat and sweat, waiting; waiting for this supposed prophet, for this man who is said to speak of dreams, in dreams, to dreams; waiting, praying that he will soon arrive, that he will never arrive.

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October 13, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jushab-Hesed

(Context: 1 Chronicles 3:20)

My father is big. His shoulders are strong. Sitting on them, I can see people everywhere, cheering, singing, crying, looking at us, and looking up into the sky. I can’t count how many people there are. I asked my father if he thought there were a hundred people here. He laughed. He said that there were hundreds of hundreds.

There was a big building here, back when my father’s father’s father lived here. He says that it was bigger than any building that I have ever seen. He says that we will be building a new one, even bigger, even better. He says that God will live there. But I know that God lives everywhere. Hi, God.

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October 6, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment