Not blasphemy so much as curiosity
and imitation suggested I lie face up
and naked on my bedroom floor,
arms stretched out like His,
feet crossed at the ankles,
and my head lolling in that familiar
defeated way, while my sisters worked
with toy wooden hammers to drive
imagined spikes through my hands and feet.
A spiritual exercise? I don’t think so.
For unlike Christ my boy-size penis stiffened
like one of Satan’s fingers.
I was dying a savior’s death and yet
my “thing,” which is what my sisters
called it, struggled against extinction
as if its resurrection could not be held off
by this playful holy torture, nor stopped
except by the arrival of my parents,
who stood above us suddenly like prelates,
home early from their supper club,
stunned, but not astonished, to find
the babysitter asleep and the inquisitive
nature of our heathenish hearts amok
in murderous pageantry.
“My Crucifixion” is from The Ledge (Houghton Mifflin, 2000).