What with it being Good Friday and all, a number of poets/English majory types I know on FB are posting their favorite Easter-related poems. This one seems a bit dark for that purpose (even though it’s one of my favorites), so in the interests of not making it seem like I’m mocking them, I’ll leave it here: James Wright’s “Saint Judas”:
When I went out to kill myself, I caught
A pack of hoodlums beating up a man.
Running to spare his suffering, I forgot
My name, my number, how my day began,
How soldiers milled around the garden stone
And sang amusing songs; how all that day
Their javelins measured crowds; how I alone
Bargained the proper coins, and slipped away.
Banished from heaven, I found this victim beaten,
Stripped, kneed, and left to cry. Dropping my rope
Aside, I ran, ignored the uniforms:
Then I remembered bread my flesh had eaten,
The kiss that ate my flesh. Flayed without hope,
I held the man for nothing in my arms.