I told Jesus When I was afraid
as a child, I looked for pictures of you in the encyclopedia and circled them around my bed.
Jesus said, I remember Giotto, Cimabue, Fra Angelico. I remember the bells as Duccio’s Maestà was carried into the cathedral.
I told Jesus, I asked you to lift my gayness from me, laid down on my face in front of the altar at All Saint’s Church on West Fort Street in Detroit. I was nineteen, it was 1975, midnight and the tiles were cold.
Jesus said, I remember asking you Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
I told Jesus, for thirty years I asked you to send me someone to love, and then Stephen came and we married, but we were old, so I begged you, keep us alive, let us live a little longer.
Jesus said, I remember I remember I remember the poem of you
that I sent to the empress with a branch of flowering.
From JESUS SAID, a poem sequence. Originally published in American Poetry Review. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved.
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