Daily Archives: April 3, 2018

In Service To The Struggle

There are times when I am fluid
and beautiful, when I lie exquisitely
in service to the struggle like a well-worn hilt
in a master swordsman’s hand; other times

I’m all spikes and protrusions when gripped,
and all the struggle can do
is drop me from its grasp
for fear of my damage.

I would tell you I am the site of the struggle
but the lie embedded in that is cold,
sharp, and slippery with others’ blood.
I could tell you I don’t want justice

but I do want to be fluid and beautiful,
and if that’s how I get there then by all means
I am for justice — but that is also a lie,
one as hot as the previous lie was not.

What I want is negation. I want to skip history.
I don’t want to be here. I don’t want 
to have been here. I want for neither 
cold nor heat.  I want the cup to pass from me

and then I want to skip all of it: not fluid,
not beautiful, not sharp and impossible to hold.
I want to vanish into the past and be forgotten,
to have no qualities at all, to be forever

unscourged and unpraised
for what I did or did not do for the cause of Justice.
Invisibility, insignificance, even in fact
never to have been incarnate, as far as

the world can remember. That would be Justice
I think — to be unremarked among the faceless
of history. I feel it every time, until I am seized by History
and then, with a sigh, with a moan, I give myself away.


The Official Version

I’ve often wondered why
on the night the Romans took Jesus
they didn’t round up all the disciples
and end it right there and then.

That would have been
the logical, imperial thing to do.
No reason not to.  No reason not to think
they hadn’t done it before

to other revolutionary cells they’d found —
they were at the time
a more political threat to empire
than a spiritual one.  Something 

smells off, always has.
Maybe we’ve got the story wrong
and Jesus cut a deal — leave them
alone, you can have me. Maybe

Jesus wasn’t taken, but instead walked in — 
maybe with the Magdalene by his side? Maybe
Judas hanged himself after in shame
or maybe he didn’t do himself in at all? 

It’s possible nothing is right in any of 
the stories, and it’s all a myth, an
official narrative. A blank slate
scribbled on in haste.  Whatever

the backstory, the official version
makes for good reading, good platform,
good grounding; still, I can’t help thinking
of someone, one of the original twelve,

sitting grizzled in a cave somewhere
during a later revolt, listening to myths
being made all around him and muttering,
muttering, that no one there knew the half of it,

then turning to the wall to sleep in guilt
and grief, thinking back to the early days
when they were all together and it all seemed
like a new world was only a burst of bloodshed away.