What would you steal from me, thief?
These Romans took my clothes. My friends
ran off with their loyalty. My priests
have filled their pockets with my people.
I’ve nothing left but you, my captive audience.
It took a lot to nail you down to gain
your full attention. All your life
you worshipped at the altar of desire
only to find it is a god unsatisfied
by less than everything. In all your crimes
you were the victim and now you find
a god is dying next to you, and you
so skewered you cannot even
stretch a hand out to ask for mercy. Smile,
thief: you are the archetype, the first
to take his cross up and then follow me.
Nothing is what it seems. Your prayer
was answered long ago, and you will see
breaking and entering done here
on a cosmic scale. Will I remember you?
I tell you the truth, today
you will be with me in paradise.
Second poem of seven in the sequence words from the cross.
© Godfrey Rust 2003, email@example.com. See here for permissions.