Jesus Is Condemned to Die
Joseph Bathanti

Sister Jude reads, Thy King cometh sitting                
on an ass’s colt, from Saint John’s gospel,
12:15. We try not to howl, pitting
self-control against the word, ass. Free will
is not free at all. Laughter rocks the room.
Fat Jude quivers with rage. She whips hammer,
nails from her cubby, commands we assume
the cruciform, hands to chair-backs, one yammer
and she will crucify the entire class.
Black as Golgotha, she halts at my palms,
pricks me with the ten-penny point, asks
if I think it’s funny now, any qualms
about rusted iron driven through my flesh.
Go on, I muse, add my blood to the crèche.

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