(dedicated to Jacob Needleman, for Lost Christianity.)
Christ the lost man is stepping bone to bone through the dark cavern where our heart is hiding. He searches deep in the body where bitterness gives root to fear, where habit buries the stirring of change like stones of the colossus smothering the grass, where the cells of original virtue swim unknown among cancers. He tires: the air is old and full of war. He strains to hear the outside world coming in through the holes in the head and catches an echo of television. He longs for a place of rest where he might await heroism — then smiles at his forgetfulness. Long ago the mind diffused him into the blood, that he might be honored for the hemorrhage to follow. Such was the luxury of crucifixion. Now from the dim inside he pushes mightily on the low rib with the patience of humility, an austere musicianship, hoping again to start a magic expansion, each rib following each upward in a subtle loosening toward fecund threnody, a rhythmic, passionate massage of space yielding the heart room to rise and birth from its singularity the thousand dense and brilliant inventions of love of which we dream through Christ.