He died with the cry crushed from his chest,
calling out from the cross to his mother.
They crucified him on a stolen hill.
They gambled away his clothes.
He called out to his mother, she
could not swaddle his naked pain.
When he was a child and wailed in the night,
it was a knife; she woke up
gasping for his breath.
They thought it somehow criminal
that he should live.
He called out to his mother,
squandering the last of his cries,
like his first, on her
In the beginning, in word and song
she storied him at her breast,
with all she knew of God and Gabriel;
he lapped it up. Now,
now, it tasted like sour wine.
He cried for his mother –
she remembered, too, the blood,
the milk and the wine – she
could not breathe. He
could not breathe. They
felt the air fall still
Life hung in the balance
between birth and death,
the first cry and the last:
He called out for his mother.