Sep 14, 2010

In the Flesh

Written by Amit Majmudar

Read by Dan O'Brien

Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him. / And he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.
— Mark 14:51

A rustle. All they got of him was cloth.
He ran till he lost them, ran till he was lost,
Hands low across his shame, the forearms crossed.
A city blocked his way. He scraped its stones
Like Adam in the briars. His King enthorned,
Nailed to the flesh, no easy robe to slip,
His skin began to crack at the heels and lips.
Come dusk, his nakedness was threadbare, torn.
His scabs rebled and bred the scarab and moth.
It seemed they chewed their way out from within.
A yew was the one tree that would shelter him —
A strange one, all its branches warped like some
Fire-damaged candelabrum salvaged from
A savaged temple. Crawling close, he found
The urine of Judas cooling on the ground.
The toes — eye level, once he stood — still dripped.
Nearby, a dead horse buzzed. The flies skipped
From it to him and rubbed their hands and sipped.
Its hide slid at the tug like a tablecloth,
The lips drawn back to bare the teeth, then more,
The snout, the neck, the muscle’s wrap and thatch,
The flank, until the horse had sloughed a horse.
He wormed inside to sleep a spell. To hatch.
His comforter was warm, his sleep was sound.
He dreamed the yew-tree straight, and Judas cut down.
The cock crowed thrice. A child crowned.