Author: Katie Manning

They found God praying to himself in a garden. One man kissed him on the cheek. Amen. It was finished. They marched him off to watch the judge wash his hands. They thorned his crown and flayed his back, walked him up a slope of skulls and nailed him to a T. Some men bled his side and gambled for his clothes. Some women cried for themselves. The God held his breath. It was finished. Amen. Nothing left but to gather his body between sheets and lay him in a book to rise again.

after Brian Henry

I met Jesus the next day
at the Life Café. “Call me
J now,” he said. “People
lock me up when I say

I am God.” He pulled
back his sleeves to show
the marks on his arms
from recent shots. I asked

what I could do. “Just lie
low,” he said between
bites of falafel. ”Dead
is the way the world wants

us. People hate to feel
alive.” We ate in silence
for a while. Then I asked,
“What happens to us?”

He wiped his young hands
and stood to leave. “We are
finished,” and kissed my cheek.
I put my hand on his arm

and told him the scars would be
beautiful when they healed.

.

Katie Manning is Editor-in-Chief of Rougarou: An Online Literary Journal