As he sat at the table,
         a woman came with an alabaster jar
                  of very costly ointment of nard,
         and she broke open the jar
                  and poured the ointment on his head

                        —Mark 14.3

You’ve heard the voices
speak your lack.
The life you’ve mangled,
missed, betrayed.

Now something’s touched you,
knelt before you, closed a wound,
and deep, a door unknown has opened.
And for this man, the source of your dawn,
those same voices come.
You know being thrown away—
as he will be soon, too.
You know as only those who live in that shadow know.

How can you give thanks,
what do you have to offer, nothing,
how to accompany him, so alone, stay with him?
Only everything, worthless and infinite, will do,
your life savings, your life, his saving.

You ride the donkey of your shame
through the heckling eyes.
You pour yourself out for him,
your precious everything.

Then come the stones of words.
This is how you know you share his path.

He speaks. He casts a magic circle around you,
thanks and honors you.

In this moment you both know
what the others can’t see:
this love amid meanness,
this last kind thing ever done him
joins you.
For the others he will die.
For you he has already, with you,
and you with him,
and he, with you, is already rising.

   —March 23, 2018

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