I’m remembering again, the old agony
I still own, though it’s up to you to tell
the way a storm builds and takes a city
like a lover down with few survivors.
Were you watching the death throes of a man
and tears in vain from a woman who loves,
thinking of her boldness, benevolence,
of how the saved condemn them to a hell
they say is of their own making . . .
It’s all I remember everywhere I go now
where wounds rip the skin off all riddled hearts.
That’s where heaven comes in, the fellow
with his gang naked with nonviolence,
everybody in Rome convinced one death
paves the way for its empire to survive;
the woman scourged for learning the brothel
may not be the answer but she kisses those feet
following the path to execution;
the man drinking himself into dying
blindly sees where his own feet lead.
And the guy with the gang? the condemned man?
His Mary never kissed men on their lips,
Magdalene sold her body, not her love.
Judas drank thirty pieces of silver
in no time and she loved him too, but death
is the leveler, the bloodstains don’t wash,
not from this god taking the air out there
alone to answer delicate questions:
What good’s a whore? Why save a drunk?
Who else is attending this Q. and A.?
(24 December 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander