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The sop

August 13, 2018

Jesus answered, he it is, to whom I shall give a sop,
when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop,
He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
And after the sop Satan entered into him.
Then said Jesus unto him,
That thou doest, do quickly. – John, 14: 26-27

 

You liked to walk alone in the warm dark wind
and slow your heart to beat in measured time.
‘Come too’, you said that night. ‘We’ll take the wine.
I’d like your views on how the movement’s grown,
and what the coming days will bring.’

We passed the dogs and left the homes
and murmured dialogues behind; and paced
the quiet lanes where branches interlaced
but failed to shield us from the frailty
and ache, and weight, of night’s vast dome.

‘It’s only you I trust, to help me free
them from the steady drip of alkali
which calcifies compassion in a lie,’
you said, ‘because, alone among them all,
your love of truth exceeds your love for me.’

I felt the breeze abruptly fall,
and then your fingertips upon my hand
as, with taut tenderness, you shared your plan
to leave us violently; what I would do.
Above us in the trees, an owl called.

The day we met, my soul was damned.
The thing you tasked me with, I carried through.
At once, I fell; leaves fell; night fell; I’m lost,
with no horizons nor relief. Because
my love of truth exceeds my love for you?

Published in Anima issue 5

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