She took me out into the desert
on sufferance, for I had learned
to please her with my mouth
and with my Jewishness,
which is not real like her Jewishness,
but earned, like a hangover.
I made love to her underground,
in an old tomb where,
the Pharisees presumed, the soul
must rot for all eternity with the body
until the day of greater dissolution.
She cried and told me I had saved her,
later on I learned she never loved me,
and I wondered, guiltily, if I knew now
what it was like to be Jesus.
from the forthcoming collection Songs of Crisis, to be published by Angelico Press in the spring of 2018.