The city suffocates with the smell
Of hemp, soaked in blood, everywhere.
Hour after hour after hour she tosses
From one nightmare to another.
Her bed sheets, once silvered
With the scent of nard, taste of gall.
She dreams she sees her husband, the prefect
Of equivocation, leaning over the portico
Trying to appease the mob’s spite.
A blood-drenched man with woven thorns
Crowning his head stands before him.
He seems to speak in monosyllables
Laced with ancient prophecies.
Something deep within her says to intervene
Plead with the fates, and reverse history,
To barter this god man’s life for human years.
As night vanishes some deeper dark descends.
In the late morning frenzy that follows
She sends her husband her dream
Rolled in a scroll, which he unravels
Then lets drop.
What he has written he has written. A cross
Casts its shadow across her warning. Is this the Christ?
Or just one more raw-boned prisoner
Sentenced to die on Mars’ day.