Detta Maddalena, by Jose Oseguera
The breeze of Galilee
closed Mary's eyes,
her Lord's auburn tresses waved as the troubled sea,
cradling with her fingertips the air
in anticipation of His beard curls.
Bathing her lips with saliva that healed the blind,
a gospel whispered only to her
with pungent breath that made man;
psalmic pulsations wounding her flesh--
seven demons each possessed by seventy,
skin paving the road to Gehenna,
in which He was Satan--
when He burdened her with the knowledge
of redemptive poison He carried in His veins.
In all the power He possessed
and all the love she promised,
He couldn’t mute the voice of God
or His will to be spilled,
anointing the cross’s every grain and gnarl--
precious blood condemned before He floated
still in His mother’s womb--
to crucify her desires
for God to come into her.
The life that He saved with His words
and changed with His love,
God had tarnished with His quest
making her sacrifice His body
and forcing His disciple to live without a soul,
to love without a heart,
speak without words,
and lie by His side without a body:
like Him, to live to die to live reborn.
The Father was testing her too:
she didn’t want to learn about her soul,
but how to wrangle its desires
while He held her hand
and looked into her eyes,
heavy with the sins of the world.
They would nail her heart next to His
beating in His frigid cuddle--
between her empty breasts--
tears of wine after He'd resurrected,
ascended to be one flesh with eternity,
and saw as the world courted sin anew.
When the crown of thorns
hung over her bed
trickling red rain
for days and weeks after He was gone,
she’d wish to be born
in a world void of mercy
in which she didn’t love Him
or wanted all of the things
He couldn't give her:
not the Gospel of Truth,
to die for His pain
and eat the sin hanging on His bones.
God chose Him,
but why did He choose her
if all He’d give her was sorrow;
if He knew that He would never be His own
or his mother’s, let alone hers?
If He was not willing to live for her,
then she didn’t want Him to die for her.
What good was His blood on dead wood
coated with the rotted flesh of other messiahs
if not to warm her hands in His
on a long night
after the fire died
by the shore of Magdala,
while the one burning in His heart dwindled
as He gazed toward Gethsemane?
Jose Oseguera is an LA-based writer of poetry, short fiction and literary nonfiction. Having grown up in a primarily immigrant, urban environment, Jose has always been interested in the people and places around him, and the stories that each of these has to share. His writing has been featured in The Esthetic Apostle, McNeese Review, and The Main Street Rag. His work has also been nominated for the Best of the Net award (2018 and 2019) and the Pushcart Prize. He is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Milk of Your Blood.
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