he lays his hands upon her own
and feels the way his dermis burns,
the subtle tremors of his bones,
the way his empty stomach churns,
and sees the eyes of the needles,
the muddled streams of holy blood
spreading into stains immortal,
or dissolving into the mud.
and she breathes softly, not a sound
as she quells her premature grief,
and turns her eye upon the ground
where he lays still, as if a thief,
and slowly lifts each punctured hand,
his hollow eyes falling upon
the mangled flesh she understands,
this confounding phenomenon,
as she brings her lips to the wounds
and swipes her morphine tongue across
the sea of crimson, aching blooms
of this affliction, of this cross.
and as his eyes study her face
against the blue tarp of the sky
he surrenders a tear, for grace,
for this is heaven, liquefied.