The National Catholic Review

He must have been a sight:
barbaric hair, dilated eyes (prelude
to Herodias’ still life on the platter).
They say he lived on wild honey and the long torsos
of locusts, that he dressed in fetid camel pelts
and rags, and that he ranted
as if he had a finger in a messianic
socket, his arm a limb of lightning
in the shallows of the Jordan.
Then one day Jesus in his yellow hair, the whole head
thundering under water, and heaven downloaded
between the bodies of two cousins,
baptist and carpenter,
genetic tripwires sizzlingthe Holy Spirit
furring vision, and then the Lord’s voice
great blue whale
breached on the banks of being. Rose light
on the mountains, all mythic harvestsheen
and mystery, all potential in the instantaneous
skating of the cloudsthen recognition
as the boys, wet and electric,
nod to one another the unremitting readiness, the Now.
And the ecstatic knowing.
The tragic ecstatic knowing.

Deborah DeNicola, editor of the anthology Orpheus & Company: Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology published in April 1999 from The University Press of New England, was awarded a Poetry Fellowship in 1997 from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of Where Divinity Begins (Alice James Press, 1994) and two chapbooks. She teaches writing and literature and the Massachusetts College of the Art. 

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