by Don Narkevic
Around Me, the stink of sour wine, sweat, and blood. Below, soldiers fistfight, tear my garments except for my tunic. Seamless, the spectacle, the mob cursing at Me, at each other, the endless babel waiting for the end. Of the two men beside Me, I recognize one as with Me in Paradise only moments from now. Now I thirst for the scent of hand-hewn wood in father’s workshop, My hands skilled with saws, stone hammers, chisels, and bow drills. The irony taste of blood I suck from a fingernail jammed by a splinter, Me, not yet a healer. I cannot spit. To a friend, I give My mother, as I give My side to be pierced, Scripture fulfilled until I have nothing left to give and it is finished like a late supper, a lone desert walk, evening prayer, bringing on night, a stone sealing a borrowed tomb, skin, bones, and soul, for a while, like a newborn, wrapped in swaddle.
Don Narkevic: Buckhannon, WV. MFA National University. Current work appears in Literary Yard, Ariel Chart, and The Lake. In Spring 2022, Main Street Rag will publish a novella of poetry entitled, After the Lynching.