by Jonel Abellanosa

Another story I hear, Savior, about your
Beloved disciple. That it wasn’t John on your
Chest, reclining in your embrace, before
Dinner in the upper room. I remember
Evenings of pressed figs and raisins,
Fragrance of lamb meat roasted with herbs.
Gethsemane held the moon, unmoved,
High up among the heavenly choir, hum
In my mind’s Cenacle. I heard your name,
“Jesus.” I heard my name, “Lazarus” -
Kindred. I stood from the floor - one
Lingering memory. This gloaming I wonder, 
My solitude deep, was I your Beloved?   
Neither the Magdalene, nor your Scribe
On the island of Patmos - to whom the last
Prophecy was revelation. Should I stay
Quiet with this knowledge, this truth
Renewed this life. I remember, all ears 
Sitting at your feet, I and other disciples
To receive the secret teaching, let me
Understand, take good care, across lives,
Visions. I long to be with you again.
We shall see each other in paradise,
Extend our embraces. I remember 
You wept, they said, before saying, Live - 
Zest for life stirring my wrapped shroud

Jonel Abellanosa is a Cebuano, residing in Cebu City, the Philippines. He is a nature lover and an advocate for the environment, ecological balance and animal rights and comforts. He has three companion dogs — Donna, Yves and their lovechild, Daisy. His works have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Dwarf Stars and Best of the Net Awards. His poetry and fiction have appeared in hundreds of magazines and anthologies, including Agape Review, Windhover, The Cape Rock, Otoliths, Muddy River Poetry Review, Chiron Review, Invisible City, The Lyric, The McNeese Review, and The Anglican Theological Review. His poetry collections include, Songs from My Mind’s Tree and Multiverse (Clare Songbirds Publishing House, New York), 50 Acrostic Poems (Cyberwit, India), In the Donald’s Time (Poetic Justice Books and Art, Florida), Instrumentals (Lemures Books) and Pan’s Saxophone (Weasel Press, Texas). His debut novel Healers is forthcoming from Penguin Random House.

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