Jesus Is Hanging Over the Lesbianfrom Sweet Jesus: Poems About the Ultimate Icon (ed. Nick Carbó and Denise Duhamel) p. 85-86. Thanks to polymexina.
A lesbian's mother and a preacher
are standing over the lesbian.
They are trying to cast out the demons.
Jesus is hanging over the lesbian,
but more concerned with his own demons,
head tilted back, dry blood remnants
of a demon's crown on his head.
The lesbian can not see Jesus.
The preacher is blocking her view
and she is waiting for her leg hairs
to grow like vines, wrap around the preacher's
head until he splits open, until she could see
what was really inside him.
The lesbian wonders how the demons got to her.
And as the concerned members of the community joined
in the casting out of the demons, Jesus slips down from the cross
without anyone noticing (they are all looking at the lesbian).
"Kind of like Baptism," he says, laughs.
"Jesus, I have had unnatural passions for women."
"Understandable," Jesus says, "they are very beautiful,
don't let them fool you, even the grass has passions."
Jesus lifts himself back to the cross.
The lesbian's lover has a voice that sounds like Jesus
and persuades her to swim that night
in the river. The lesbian tosses her shirt,
and as her lover dips her head
back into the river, Jesus makes a sound
that echoes through the empty church,
a sound like a baby crying,
a sound like some blade of grass
has just been touched.
I wasn't really into this poem at the beginning (though as I typed it up I found more richness in it -- and felt like such an English major) but "even the grass has passions" won me. (I blame lilithchilde for my love for "the people are grass.")
I don't like the poems in this book enough to do a daily Lent posting, but I had been thinking about it, ['cause I really liked doing daily readings for Advent and am still at a loss for something comparable to do for Lent] and I like the tension between the body and the dominant religious forces in this poem as a post for Mardi Gras (the binging celebration immediately preceding Lent).