after James Wright
I saw the spears, the cross, the crown of jest.
Behind, a shove—I fell out from the crowd.
I felt the press of wood against my chest.
Beneath his yoke, I bore the weight; too proud
To hold the gaze that came from eyes of ash,
Though days ago, I stood with palm leaves strewn.
My help was like the morning’s missing lash:
He had to live to see the afternoon.
Now every day I wake and walk that hill again.
The dust, the sun, the thorns, the ache of stones—
The details freshly resurrected when
Once at the top, I sit among the bones—
The wine and gall, the dice, the final cry.
I tasted death with him, then watched him die.