bread and wine
on an upright platter,
slaughter often left for eyes
of Levites and the Lord,
Christ. To countless ere and after:
but she knew Him as Jesus.
With eyes like Van Gogh’s paintbrush,
all of Golgotha grown blurry and wet
as she strained to see
her son, she knew Him as
Between the marks
of Pilate’s appeasement
and rainbow-varied welts,
there was little there
for Mary’s melting eyes to recognize, but…
there, just above feet
she still remembered as silk,
a scar across his ankle
more memory than sight, the cloth
she dabbed on that stinging boyishness
still dripping in
two buckled roses,
his abdomen and chest, a horror
the angel did not prepare her for
when dispensing El Shaddai’s blessing.
In that lurid shadow,
did her heart threaten to fail her?
Through agonizing hours
learning precisely why it was that
Pharaoh needed no further coercion
as he wept in Egypt’s darkness.
The first fingers
to ever curl around hers,
to bring her bouquets in fists
filthy with innocence,
two wings now splayed at obscene angles,
nails freeing fingers from tendons.
She forgot nothing
as she saw her son become
the Son of Man
with Calvary underfoot
and thorns on
His head, his face,
where had her son gone?
A mosaic of refigured features, but…
there, his unblinking sidelong gaze,
the eyes that pierced her heart
thirty-three years before.
Her lips still feeling the down
of his hair, his newborn crown
while he set her heart alight.
a slumped messiah,
to countless ere and after,
a pillar of lachrymose salt,
she knew Him as