There is one thing left to learn: the body—
how it feels, perfected: Colder? The stone
perfectly Cold. Frigid. And hard. . . . No,
Adamantine. The cloth on his face, knotty,
threads coarser under perfect fingers.
He folds it. Corner to corner, precise, symmetric.
(The first act of Godhood is domestic.)
Like manna, how those perfect linen squares
would show up in his drawer—an Ima’s love.
He counts the ragged strips, imagining
Lazarus, his bound head unraveling
like a torch, stumbling from the cave,
hoping for something new, less heavy.
Then the last—the one with blood—enclosing
the stain—finale of his blood—seeing:
a poppy: open, closed. Like the curve
of his palm: closed, open. The scars
imprinted like two coins: Look,
Abba, remember what I’ve bought. A prick
of relief: I am still myself. Wonders
how else they will know him, perfect? Not his
eyes, his gait, his voice. He is alone
in this perfection, this beauty: one
imperfect thing, indelible—his body.
This poem received an honorable mention in the BYU Studies 2016 Clinton F. Larson Poetry Contest.