The sadness of Peter's heart is the sound
of a thousand violin strings breaking,
And the cock crow is the only witness
to Judas' body swinging in the
cold wind that whips at Veronica's veil,
hanging on the clothesline,
which sparrows perch on
to rest from the crush of
crowded bodies that fill Jerusalem's
streets, kicking up clouds of dust
that choke the women like their tears.
Even the stones that Simon stumbles on
are streaked with screaming scarlet,
the scent of blood and rusty iron
permeates the sandy air.
Mary's eyes are frozen, fixed on the small light shining
against the darkness falling all around her.
That small light she was given,
burns slowly, inevitably towards its end,
the hill where it will be
Each step that burns her foot
brings it closer to extinguishing,
each step is a sword that sticks her heart.
But she guards her light,
with all a mother's gentle care,
even as it goes to die.
The Magdalene feels a drop fall on her shoulder,
rain and blood falling together from the sky above her,
running down the fragile legs she clings to,
the rain washing the clots of blood from the coarse hair.
Her sleeve wipes the tears from her face,
she lifts it higher to clean
and dirt from the twisted feet in front of her,
stuck through with nails,
turning blue from loss of blood,
but finally resting from their awful journey,
having now reached the destination they were born to.
Her tears once again anoint these precious limbs,
and she lifts her hair to wipe away the blood.
John cannot watch.
He stands at Miryam's side,
and watches the Magdalene,
As she cleans the stain of their
own cowardice from the master's
limbs, and holds
what he cannot bring himself to touch.
From above him, he hears a voice calling to him.
He cannot look up.
The voice continues calling.
That voice--a ragged remnant of the voice
that called him from his fishing nets--
wheezing, cracking under the weight
of dying lungs, still touches something
deep inside of him.
He does not want to live
without that voice.
His heart breaking, he finally lifts his eyes,
to meet those of his broken brother.
He cannot bear to see in them
the familiar love
mixed with such grotesque pain.
The eyes ask him not to look away.
And John will not let his brother die alone.
So, he holds his mother closer,
Lifts his face against the rain,
And his heart breaks.
The voice's wheezing dissolves into
a deafening silence.