Surely this procession
filed out of another zone,
Crist’s body borne aloft.
I imagine the parade at home
ascending a narrow Mediterranean street,
the sun massaging it at piazza corners.
Christ, an anonymous tourist,
had his passport stamped indifferently
by custom’s men dressed for the job.
But this sorry cortege, staggering
out of kilter, threatened by rain,
makes an altar of every house.
Were they all in vain: those sweltering days,
melting on sticky car seats,
the priest droning from a tannoy gob?
Is this all we’re left: a welter
of simmering emotion stirred up
with a pinch of belief.
We woke to our bodies long ago,
shut the door
on that stale, gutted spirituality.
But behold the bared body
of Christ, awkwardly borne,
unsettling us once more.