Margaret Szumowski

Christ Goes Out in the World

Christ is so large that these muscular young men
can barely hold his dead body between them.

They let him down with bright lengths of Italy,
pink like the houses. They take down his body

and carry him. Mary slumped in sorrow,
on her way to the Vatican with these husky fellows.

In the basilica, she’s strong, holds him for centuries.
All the people know how alive he was, how dead he is.

They cry as if it were their sons or daughters,
they’ll never recover, but he’s off to see St. Peter,

give Mary a break, talk about trout fishing or Magdalen’s
chestnut hair. He’s not so different from other men.

He goes out on the Appian Way to see his Beloved.
People don’t notice him walking to the coliseum, worried,

trying to shadow the locals through relentless traffic
for pasta at Carla’s Trattoria. He goes anywhere in perfect

anonymity. I noticed him in the pensione, offered him bread
and chocolate with his coffee, He said, “I’m not dead,

remember? Invite me for a walk. Match make me
with Magdalen. Give me a kiss. A good one.”