Tuesday, November 24, 2009

*Poem: "Mary the Second"

Mary the Second

Luckily, silver becomes me,
shines like a river against my brown skin.
I’ve always been number two.
Even in grief, when we set out for His tomb,
after the soldiers told us where He was stashed,
His Mother tagged along as if we didn't
deserve a little time alone to say goodbye,
like she still didn't trust Him,
didn't trust us.

His buddies ate first, slept beside Him,
asked Him over and over
the obvious questions we had already answered
in the early morning, our time.
He was mine then, but even so,
I could always smell Martha’s oil on His head, His feet,
knew she had been there before me again.

In a previous life, my specialty
was cleaning up afterwards,
comfort, do-overs.
They came to me for something more.
They left with too much.

He called me Beloved.
We bickered and bantered
like an old married couple,
but I knew we’d never marry.
He was a busy man,
never in a place long enough
to pin down about it, anyway.
I like my time alone, too.
After a long day of splitting fish and bread,
who wants to come home to a multitude?

He told the world He cast out my seven demons.
I told Him they were all just friends,
seven veils, seven wonders,
seven deadly sings of joy.
He knew others too, before he got
the nod and wink from Johnny on the Spot.

I introduced Him to the body
He’d only starved and run ragged through the desert.
He made wine from water, brought back the dead,
but never really tasted Himself
before I came along.

So I went to His tomb that Sunday
to bless his battered body with sweet oils myself,
the Sabbath leaving no time for such niceties
(take my advice: never die on a Friday;
your shrift will be short and mumbled),
and like I said, the Mother tagged along.
She never approved of me.
It wasn’t her approval I wanted.

When we got to the tomb,
we saw that somebody had beaten us to the punch.
Somebody had moved the rock!
I ran back to tell the posse.
They didn’t believe me.
They never did listen to a thing I said,
like I got by on my good looks
alone all these years!

He had to tell them Himself,
let that fool Tom poke his fingers
in the hole in His side.
I always knew it wouldn’t last.
Ascension was the last straw.

Now I sell t-shirts at the outlet mall in Tel Aviv.
I sold my story to the Star a while back;
People did a nice thing, too.
I still got it. Men sip from me
like hummingbirds, bees, nervous bridegrooms,
stop for a taste of the eternal,
and go home to meatloaf.

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