by Veronica McDonald
Baptizing heads dunked in shame risen in hope, glistening and new with Jordan water the sun beaming through the clouds like a portal straight to the land of future promises. Baptizing the heads of my sons, the heads of my daughters, my brothers and sisters, wheat separating from the chaff. Baptizing with sticky honey hands washed clean sins trickling through his ears breath of locusts — REPENT! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! — with those wild brown eyes that have seen the provision of God in the wilderness. Those hands touching the Body of Sinlessness, filled with doubt and awe and questions he won’t allow himself to ask - Do you come to me? [Are you the one, or is there another?] He knew once as a babe floating in the womb, fetal head baptized in Elizabeth’s life-giving waters the Spirit knitting him together for a great work. Baptizing the sinless head of God, who will fall and rise again in glory, the Trinity proclaimed before those searching eyes. Wild eyes and honey hands rubbing against stone and chain longing for that river, crisp clear and cool stirring with thirsty folk itchin’ with spirit-filled air. He’s itchin’ now, itchin’ to know what’s going on beyond those walls beneath those waters — Send word, cousin, are you the one to come? — Truth hums through his ears, steady as it ever has peace drifting in and out of his cell, trusting in what his free eyes have seen, what he felt in that womb though he can’t remember it (before he knew the world, he knew Him) letting the silence and darkness drip off him like still water and the brown eyes cast toward the coming light, unable to find fear in the executioner’s blade baptizing him all over again in blood that will cry out Repent! from Herod’s golden platter, in Salome’s shaking hands.
Veronica McDonald is a published fiction writer, poet, and artist, and the editor and founder of Heart of Flesh Literary Journal. Veronica holds an M.A. in Literature from American University, and has work published in Amethyst Review, Lost Pen Magazine, Horizons Magazine, and Five on the Fifth, among others. You can find out more about her work at: veronicamcdonald.com