The time of year when the world
Transforms into the inside of a tin can
Cooking in the noontime sun
Is when Jesus Christ is crucified
To astonishment of delirious crowds
Dropping in heat like dead insects
As reservoirs languish and asphalt streets,
Cracked, peeling, cry out for water.
Palm Sunday flutters weakly, a flag
Raising his arms in faint breeze.
You listen to the story of the Passion…
By the time Jesus is entombed,
You are wrung out and numb.
Days later, Maundy Thursday is mentholated,
Rising and setting in a wooded garden.
The reprieve is illusory.
Darkness shoves night inside an oven.
Soon you cannot escape Good Friday,
Twice hotter than the night before—
Turning round and round,
You are roasted on all sides,
Dripping as if broiling on a spit.
Two days’ provisions running low,
Holy Saturday finds you sitting peacefully
Beside a corpse for a companion
Inside a tomb pervaded by silence.
Comforted by cold, you imagine the sun
Without seeing the dawn.
You doze off the instant you wake up
To Easter Sunday suddenly present,
Pure, fresh water illumined by glory.
Inhaling a cloud, you glimpse the crystal city.
Originally published in The Galway Review (February 15, 2016)