Mary of Magdala

by Cristina Legarda

John 20:11-18

For the record
I was not a prostitute
nor did I pour nard
all over his head.
I wasn’t sleeping with Him, either,
if that’s what you’re thinking.
A friendship like ours
will be hard to understand, 
I suspect, even a thousand 
years from now,
because when a man loves a woman
and a woman loves a man
as we love each other
it’s so much easier to fall back
on sex organs rather than souls.
The passion burns as brightly
and there’s a kind of desire there
but not the kind people want to understand.
The paradox of the faraway God
is how close, how close we really are. 

I thought my rage
(one of my many demons)
was greatest when He died
but would you believe
it was after I saw Him again
that I felt a fury 
beyond expressing.
I had gotten used
to his friends talking over me
dismissing me
ignoring me
constantly downplaying
what I had to say
but to refuse to believe
what I saw with my own eyes – 
who could imagine or fabricate
an entire conversation
with a man we all knew?
I saw Him. He lives.
There is nothing anyone 
can do about that.

I can already see where this is going.
They don’t like the special treatment,
the power, the bond. I may have 
ruined it for every woman to come.
But that has never stopped us before
and in the end
it doesn’t change the truth:
we are very much alive
and the good news is
we are worthy of love
we are loved
we are love	

Cristina Legarda was born in the Philippines and spent her early childhood there before moving to Bethesda, Maryland. She is now a practicing physician in Boston. Her work has appeared in America magazine, The DewdropDappled Things, PlainsongsFOLIORuminate, The Good Life Review, and others.

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