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Poetry

She wants to believe he clung to death,
that the sweetness of the light that took him

soaked him until he was fat with gladness,
that bringing him back to the dark cave,

making him breathe through oil-soaked cloth,
pushing life back into his stiffened fingers and toes,

that calling him with a siren’s voice to his own dead body
was cruel. She wants to believe he fought

as he was stuffed back into human flesh,
that he dropped to the ground and grabbed saplings

along the shore, pleading not to cross River Jordan
again. When he stumbled stiff-jointed toward

the light he could suddenly see through the linen,
following that voice he knew, hearing the screams

of his sisters, of a crowd, their terrified hope,
she wants to believe that he stepped

back into the earth’s love reluctantly,
not that he kissed Jesus’s face and feasted

with him for days, his lips on the soft flesh
of figs, his skin flushed with living.


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