Towards evening, death came to the bed.
The party members who escorted him there
had dispersed, together with the soldiers
who wove a necklace of barbed wire
around his neck and disposed of his body
earlier that day.
There was only a woman, praying,
her head covered in funeral cloth,
her arms wide apart, offering her weary body.
“Father, it is not yet over.
I don’t know how long this journey will take.”
She was the only person prepared
to follow the will of God,
to be friends with death,
to ready the bed for this cowardly man;
this citizen of no country, this follower of no faith.
Only she heard his final agony.
“I have drunk the wine
from the fountain of blood.
I have drowned in the wound
that the whips tore in his side.
I have paid my respects to the map of a broken land,
engraved on the body of God.”
Death had nothing to offer
when they came to steal his body.
There was only a woman washing a cross
at one corner of the bed.
“He has set out for the city,” she said,
“and you will never be able to catch him.”