”And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.’”-Luke 23:42-43
You were a man stained with blood,
who chortled with beer-breath
who laughed, hysterical, because you could not cry
whose beard was wet and eyes were dry
who snatched a woman with a blinking lash
who was pleased with how nauseated he felt when he saw his mirror image
who now was suspended, still, forced to face his faults and fears
who had escaped from loving arms for years, but
who now wished he could run to love
who now wished he could hold someone without the guilt
who knew he could do nothing, never could have, but use and then abuse some
who turned his head to see the man beside him.
You saw that man caked with blood,
who calmed the up-down pounding of your heart against torn ribs somehow
who spoke wholeness and life, but
who, inside and out, was being pulled apart,
who told you of gold and purity where here were vein-pulsing shrieks and bone-deep cuts
whose words were true, though your brain wanted to shout out of your head; ask “how?”
who was naked, with scars crimson, with sides split
who hung there in the sky, drying like his clothes for which they had bartered
who never whispered a single word of hate, though on his face they had spit
whose eyes like dripping candle wax searched night before shouting the finished cry that caused the earth to quiver with the waking dead
whose head was purple, clutched by snake-like barbs,
who made the sky tear and the veil, in two, like his sides
who dangled from the rigid wood, unmoving.
You saw God caked with blood, unmoving.
God saw you, stains cleansed by blood, unmoving.