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Forensic Scientist Called to the Scene of a Blasphemy

Luminal spray blood glow shows spatter on fang-scarred bench slats, splintered
in grass. Rust color coagulation in paw-print on sidewalk, call in zoologist
for species match. Call in pathologist for tissue analysis. Recreate
the scene: two wolves descended and slaughtered this god sleeping
in the park’s sun, Saturday—approx time of death, 10am, from body temp.
dropped 1 degree/hr vs. ambient. Missing, presumed eaten:
liver, kidneys. Don latex gloves to transfer chewed sinew to ziploc. Entrails tangled
between chain-link and chrysanthemum, ultraviolet shows no finger whorls,
nothing to dust for, no divine DNA to trace back—gods leave few corporeal
marks this definitive, for risk of robbing us the pleasure of ignorance.
(But yes, we do have Zeus on file: Cretan, swan-shaped rapist, still wanted
for drowning Rhodes whole—though media swarming has dwindled of late).
Behind the baseball backstop, I find the clincher: lyre lying splintered and catgut
coiling one shiver of veneer to the another. A snake startles and slithers
from the cavity. Ah, it was Apollo then. Note: check meteorological records
to see if sun has dimmed Scour scene for bow and arrow. God of healers too late
to be healed, whose femur lies chewed among green-painted slates etched
with key-edge names of lovers. Pull over body a simple white sheet. Disturbing
indeed—but no worse than Mercury, who left behind foot flesh in bloody-soled
sandals, ivory nubs of ankle bones protruding and feathers burst about
the grass like a slaughtered songbird. Or the case of Isis: half-decayed
remains in black garbage bag, dismembered and dropped in the mouth
of a dented dumpster. Plastic shredded open by rats, gnawed flesh, the gold
of her ankh swarmed over with syrphidae maggots. Red smear on white lotus petals.
Yes, and remember those Christians who petitioned our department
for confirmation, asking: Where would his body be? If our savior did not rise
from the tomb on Easter, show us his skeleton. Jesus Christ! Don’t get me started
on that investigation. No, back to matter at hand. Scour the park and scrape up
Apollo’s flesh. Store it in an gold urn on a Dewey-Decimaled shelf
in a temperature-controlled warehouse. Requisition studies
from the microscopy lab. No verdict lies in my hands, only to observe
and record. Yet I have little faith in the matter. This case will go unsolved,
like all the others. Reopen it 2,000 years from now when the best minds have contrived
new technology to analyze the physical evidence—some silicon miracle. We will unseal the urn
then to find the contents evaporated. These crimes go forever unsolved.
Because it is impossible (Try it: Damn you Enki! I curse thee Freya! Smite me!)
to blaspheme a God whose irrelevance is presupposed.

Posted 09/08/09
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