Eucharist (A Poem About The Cross)

Eucharist (A Poem About The Cross) April 10, 2020

It’s such an impossible
Thing to understand that
I need to eat magic food
To put me in the right head

Space to even contemplate
Nails nine inches long going
Through my hands and ankles;
I got a pencil jabbed in my hand

In second grade; the lead is still
There at about the place
The nail hole would have been;
Does that count as stigmata?

I want this to be yoga;
Like you’re up there absorbing
All the sins of the world
And pushing out love perfectly

On a youtube video that all of
Us can watch so we can learn
Your perfect breath technique
Like a Nordic ice swimmer

Except your video wouldn’t pass
The censoring standards on youtube
Because you were naked
And you had blood dripping into

Your eyes; that would surely be
Not safe for work in terms of
Gore; you look like a horror movie
And somehow people think they

Can put your crucifix on their
Mirrors and it will protect them
From ghosts or signify which
Of the block gangs they belong to.

I made a blog post once
Called “I can’t breathe” after Eric Garner
Who was choked by the cops
And I used your bloody gasping body as

The photo which felt closer to the truth
Than the sanitized empty crosses
Every Protestant church puts up front
Since crosses are just jewelry

And we’re saved by saying the right
Things about what happened
Rather than what happened itself
But something did happen when

Peter told the crowd at the Jerusalem
Temple that God has made him
Both Lord and Messiah this Jesus
Whom you crucified and all

Were cut to the heart and said
Brothers what must we do to be
Saved? Was Peter surprised
At the power of his words?

This same Peter who had scarcely
Weeks before said I never knew him
And had to answer three times
When he asked are you sure you love me.

I want to be cut to the heart;
I tried to do that to my youth;
I made them hold up bloody Jesus
Right in front of their faces

And yell “Crucify him!” and I said
That’s what you’re doing every time
There’s a fight in middle school
And you cheer and jump over tables

To egg it on and they didn’t like that;
And it was probably reckless;
But isn’t the fear of the Lord
And the confidence of the Holy Spirit

Reckless like that? Grabbing snakes,
Casting out demons, letting someone
Else move your lips to say words
You don’t actually know not even

Knowing if you’re just making up a
Pseudo-language that sounds like
Hebrew since it has a lot of
Bach and Tchaikovsky in it.

Maybe the crosses we’re given
Are the torture that gives us eternal
Life, the constant trembling and
Second-guessing that is the prerequisite

To any honest theology; sometimes
It’s erotic when I look at your wounds;
Sometimes I’m the soldier who drove in the nails;
Sometimes I’m the avenger who will kill that soldier.

But any words that lack poetry
In talking about the breadth and height
And depth and vastness of your arms
Reaching out impossibly into the cosmos

As you’re gasping for air;
Any words that build a neat edifice of bricks
Are blasphemy and should be converted
Into an outhouse where all the filthy rags

Can be tossed as we shred off
Every obstacle that hinders us
From running the race of the author
And perfector of our faith.

Maybe when my colon perforates
And I double over in septic shock,
I will understand the full weight
Of your glory; I welcome that portal,

Hoping that my fearless fury
Will finally cast out whatever wounded
Inner child keeps Lucifer stoking
Hell within my abdomen.

In the end, all suffering is a mystery;
Yes, God could have done it a
Thousand other ways and perhaps
He has in other cultures but

Without the cross, I would just be
A pitiful sick man emaciating unto death;
Instead I have a story that lets
Me walk upright into the final gates

Because you have more than
Conquered me; you took this
Sickly flesh and put it on
Your cross not to torture me

But to work the dough in your hands
And let your yeast explode
So that when I am finally risen
I will shine with your uncreated light.

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