Of Blood and Water

after the painting by Ivan Fortushniak

Heaven smells like bacon

ribbons of flesh sizzle and pop
hanging from tongs like a limp arm

Tread the bleary smudge of earth
Don’t pass over this Seder cup
Tepid pools of rainwater mulled dark

And Christ’s flesh too white
Blanched clean by hurried hands
wet cloth in caked wounds
scrubbing away the excess before sunset
handling what no Jew should ever touch

As for us
We’ve built our water tower
dome of great white hope

Marvel at the miracle
our own hands on steel
wait for emergencies
so that we never have to emerge

Water tower
that ain’t no living water

When we see the row of emergency vehicles
the ticker telling us of teens and tempered steel
imagination supplying the word no Newscaster will ever say
tears rush the floodgates
that’s living water

When we pluck our blurred eyes out
place them in our hands
and get down to it
binding up wounds
third hour, sixth hour, ninth hour
till palms blister, bubble, and burst
that’s living water

When quaking soul bleeds down the limp arm
to grasp at resurrection in a pen
verbs broken on us like our griefs
prose pierced through like bleached matzah
till ink blots, sputters, and spills
from the Lamb
for us
that’s living water

that’s bacon, buddy
Bacon on earth.

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