The Sound of Silence (Austria), Taylor Hedge
Kneeling, I look up at Christ strung up on wires
slowly swinging over the head of the priest
the center of attention, it’s almost garish.
The weight of His hips stretching the skin
more tightly over His sharpened ribs. Pulling Him down.
His back stoops.
The nails are the only thing keeping Him above us.
I can almost hear them tearing through His flesh.
What if He were to fall down? Stray?
The weight of my own hips pull me down,
the pew tempts, but I push my weight
into my elbows and through my praying fingertips.
Clinging. I want so strongly, so deeply,
more than could ever be fulfilled.
Ask and ye shall receive.
So here I am, on my knees before two men.
While in the corner
in a shadowed nook is Mary.
But I see her hands; empty
and facing downwards. And her eyes
are filled with the quiet pain of loss.
To create and yield and toil and suffer
in corners, shadows.
Behind Him; always. Waiting.
Is that womanhood?
And yet in the mornings
she is bathed in a tinted sunshine
that is so ethereal and apart,
that maybe that’s why
I prefer it.
The margins are always closer
to the windows and their sunlit dreams.
Those rays of hope are never in the center
but in the losses; the quiet outskirts.