Good Friday (Rejected by Permafrost Magazine)

jesus on the cross

At home, Good Friday is a hard day to get through.
The meat of chicken and pigs have magically
Transformed to Jesus’s flesh, and it’s a no-go zone
For the catholic-minded. Over at the table
You count the goodies from your neighbors
After all, it is New Year too in Sri Lanka, but your face
Turns pale and lengthens, when you notice
That the chairs are empty.

You think of Jesus and the cross. You’re carrying
An empty stomach, and you’re a fastidious carnivore.
Every minute seems like a step in the path to Golgotha.
My 44 inch waist and the apple-shaped tummy
Are shouldered on top of my two feet. In my mind
I’m a surrogate Jesus, carrying my punitive tummy,
Where you start to hear grumbling voices.
You start to wonder ‘can your tummy be diagnosed
With schizophrenia ?’. I imagine the stomach going into
Psychosis, dreaming of a perfectly roasted chicken
Or some mutton korma, and it’s
All a hallucination. I wonder would Jesus
Had hallucinated of God rescuing him
From the Jewish gangs.

And my tummy is rumbling, cursing little
Words I cannot understand. I picture Jesus, with only Veronica
And a few women following him, being whipped
By the Jews, persecuted for being a good man.
A good man who has no sin about him.

And Good Friday will end soon.
I will only remember the suffering, a 12 hour
Fast gave me. My wife told me today that Jesus
Had a preparation of lamb for the last supper. At least
His last meal was fit for a king and he didn’t
Have to fast before his tragic death.

I’m just a glutton while Jesus was the lamb.
My empty stomach was my thanksgiving prayer
To Jesus. To be in my own little way, Jesus-like
To hear little sounds in your tummy
Temptation playing her tune.

And Jesus was Good Friday’s stooge.
And I wonder in my head, what a death on a cross
Would feel like; a maze of blood, no water to hydrate,
Only a few women looking on and streaks
Of lightning falling to the Calvary.

And to the Jews, Jesus’s crucifixion, was just a feast.
A celebration of a death of a charismatic man
Who became that hour the lamb of god.

I look up at the blank screen in front of me
I see a hill appearing with three tall crucifixes
I see Jesus’s shanks nailed to a cross.
Blood dripping like Rosemary sauce.

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Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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