My Messiah

My Messiah April 15, 2021

My messiah is exactly the
kind of man you’d expect
without a human Y chromosome:
offensively delightful; utterly

gorgeous when he’s angry;
a carpenter’s hands with fingers
soft enough to open eyes
that were blind from birth;

every movement of his
muscles a dance in which
he retunes the wavelengths
of the energy around him

so when he tells a mountain
to throw itself into the sea, it
obeys him casually as though
the universe were his poetry;

the way his eyes shift
so quickly from fierce to
delightful like a child
who is also the ancestor;

his chocolate skin when
he swims in the nude
with his fishermen friends
and when he hunches over

a fire, his muscles glistening
as he makes breakfast
like the mother hen he always
talks about being, especially

while chasing the street
children around in made
up games that proper rabbis
don’t play with children.

Men with human fathers
understand that religion
is serious business that has
nothing to do with children

who are born totally depraved
and need to have their wills
broken by fathers who are
not afraid to use the rod.

But some men don’t have rods
and children know instinctively
they are safe with them
because children are the ones

who know the way to heaven,
which is what he tells us
all the time as he sits
with half a dozen little bodies

climbing all over him, their
mothers knowing he will never
harm them because they see
the way he talks to animals

and the ferocity with which
he denounces the powerful
whenever they trample on his
little ones, being himself

a shepherd who walks like
a young lamb in adolescent
confidence entirely synchronized
with ancestral wisdom as though

true wisdom never ages but
only grows in its prankish myrth
so the highest enlightenment
is to become a child at play.

The best moments of my many
lifetimes have been lying next
to the fire with his arms
around me as we gaze into

eternity together without words.
And in those moments, I feel his
heartbeat in my body and I know
I am the disciple whom Jesus loves.

Browse Our Archives