Jesus Wanted Me For A Sunbeam


Jesus wanted me for a sunbeam,
or so I was told.
I was that longlost sheep
He wanted in His fold.

No, don’t mock!
When He came to knock,
I joined the flock.
I stood in line to be branded
as His stock.
They said that He would dock
my tail and shear my fleece
and I said, “Yes, please!”
because I longed for that perfect peace
that they talked about.

But I didn’t find peace in the House of the Lord
and blessings were not poured
out on me.

For, behold, it came to pass
that a man came from a neighbouring church
and he said, “Take, eat – this is my body.”

Some long-buried earthly sense
told me I should refuse,
that this was a ruse,
that he was bad news,

but they taught me to look for miracles
and I thought it was a sign
that every time he touched me
my water turned to wine
and I was a foolish virgin –
it was dark and I was damp –
so I let him dip is wick
and burn the oil in my lamp,
the extra-virgin olive oil
in its tightly stoppered drum
I was saving for the Bridegroom,
but the Bridegroom had not come.

Together we worked wonders –
he broke my bread, I shared his fishes,
he reached my Land of Milk and Honey
and he said it was delicious,
he found the light beneath my bushel
and he saw that it was nice,
he split my oyster, then he took
my pearl beyond all price
and I thought the eye of his needle was
the road to Paradise.

But, afterwards, he always said,
“Let’s keep this to ourselves for a bit,
don’t tell anyone: it
can be our little secret.”

And in public he would deride me,
affect to despise me,
in a bid “to disguise
the chemistry” we had.

And, at first, it was a brilliant game,
it felt delightfully elicit,
as we conspired, complicit –
it was all such a blatant act!
How could people miss it?

But his acting got too good
and, although I knew he was miming the dagger,
the wounds it left were real.

And, there was more –
he took grave exception
to contraception,
he condemned condoms,
pilloried the Pill.
What we did in bed
was sinful, he said,
but the sin was enhanced
if we planned it in advance.

And I spent days waiting
anxiously to bleed,
then he’d
fume and he’d flap,
say I was trying to trap

And for a while,
I was in denial.
Then, one day at work,
I helped a colleague move heavy furniture.
That night, as I bled a river of black clots,
I looked at the date
and said, “It’s just my period.
Three months late.”

Another time,
he took me to a bar,
he offered me a chalice and said,
“Take, drink – this is my blood.”
But it was not blood
and I don’t think it was just wine.
Knocked me out as cold as Lazarus.
I don’t remember getting home that night,
but when I came to, in my bed,
and tried to rise from the dead,
I felt the weight of his body
pinning me down
like a stone blocking the mouth of my tomb.

I’d asked for an egg and he gave me a scorpion,
I’d asked for a fish and he gave me a snake,
so I cried to the Church and said,
“Someone, please help me.
Help me, someone, please
for Jesus’ sake.”

And they said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,
we cannot cast a stone.
No-one can condemn his sin
but Jesus Christ alone.
We have to show forgiveness,
no matter what he’s done.”
He was the late-hired vineyard worker,
he was the Prodigal fucking Son,
he was the wicked tax collector
who atoned and climbed a tree,
so they killed the fatted calf for him

and they crucified me.


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