Face-to-face: After Emmanuel Levinas

My brother's face is not my face;
His eyes see things mine do not see,
And when I try to take his place
I'm stuck in his alterity.

I do not know what he has known.
I do not think his thoughts with him.
His father is my father. Though
He is not me, he is my kin.

Each other face I daily see,
Each gaze that pierces into pride,
Each face is still a mystery,
A space I cannot climb inside.

And yet I must begin each day
Before my brother's other face,
And hear my unknown sister say,
"Thou shalt not kill" with silent gaze.

And I must stand before a One
Who is not seen, with unseen face,
And yet is like all-knowing Sun
And stands in hated Stranger's place.

Published by Matthew Pullar

Teacher, writer, blogger, husband, father, Christian. Living in Wyndham in Melbourne's west, on the land of the Kulin Nation. Searching for words to console and feed hearts and souls.

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