my boy jesus
One noonday near the end of spring
I had a dream like a photograph.
I saw Jesus Christ come down to earth.
He came down the side of a hill
And turned into a boy again,
Running and rolling in the grass
And pulling up flowers just to throw them away,
And laughing so you could hear it far away.
He had run away from heaven.
He was like us too much to pretend
He was the second person of the Trinity.
In heaven everything was false, everything out of step
With flowers and trees and stones.
In heaven he always had to be serious
And from time to time become human again
And climb onto the cross, and start dying
With a crown of thorns all around,
And his feet skewered with a spike
And even with a rag around his waist
Like the black men in engravings.
They wouldn’t even let him have a father and mother
Like other children.
His father was two people —
An old man named Joseph, who was a carpenter,
And who wasn’t his father,
And the other father was a stupid dove,
The only ugly dove in the world
Because it was neither a dove nor of the world.
His mother didn’t love a man before she had him.
She wasn’t even a woman: she was the handbag
He came down from the sky in.
And they wanted him, who was born only of a mother,
And never had a father to love with respect,
To preach goodness and justice!
One day when God fell asleep
And the Holy Ghost went off flying,
He got into a box of miracles and stole three.
With the first he made it so that no one would know he had run away.
With the second he made himself a human boy forever.
With the third he created a Christ eternally crucified
And left him nailed to the cross that there is in Heaven
Where he’s used as a model for other crosses.
Then he ran away to the sun
And came down on the first ray he caught.
Today he lives in my village with me.
He is a lovely, natural, smiling child.
He wipes his nose on his right arm,
Sloshes around in puddles,
Collects flowers and loves them and forgets about them.
He throws stones at donkeys,
Steals fruit from the orchards
And runs away yelling and crying from dogs.
And, because he knows they don’t like it
And everybody else thinks it’s funny,
He runs around the girls
Who walk in groups along the roads
With jugs on their heads
And he lifts up their skirts.
He’s taught me everything.
He taught me how to look at things.
He shows me everything there is in flowers.
He shows me how stones are pleasing
When you hold them in your hand
And look at them for a while.
He tells me a lot of bad things about God.
He says he’s a stupid, sick old man,
Always hawking on the ground
And saying nasty things.
The Virgin Mary spends her afternoons in eternity knitting socks.
The Holy Ghost picks at himself with his beak
And perches on armchairs and dirties them.
Everything in heaven is as stupid as the Catholic Church.
He tells me God doesn’t understand anything
About the things he created —
“If it’s him who created them, which I doubt” —
“He says, for example, that all beings sing his glory,
But the beings don’t sing anything.
If they sang they’d be singers.
All beings exist and nothing else
And that’s why they’re called beings.”
And afterwards, tired out from telling me about God’s wickedness,
The Boy Jesus falls asleep in my arms
And I carry him home in my arms.
• — •
He stays with me in my house on the middle of a knoll.
He’s the Eternal Child, the god who was missing.
He’s the human who is natural,
He’s the divinity who smiles and plays.
And that’s why I know for certain
That he is the true Boy Jesus.
And the child so human he’s divine
Is my daily poet’s life,
And it’s because he always walks with me that I’m always a poet,
And my very smallest glimpse
Fills me with feeling,
And the smallest sound, whatever it may be,
Seems to speak to me.
The New Child who stays where I stay
Gives one hand to me
And the other to everything that exists
And so we three go along whatever road there is,
Skipping and singing and laughing
And delighting in our common secret
Which is totally knowing
There’s no mystery in the world
And everything’s worth the trouble.
The Eternal Child always accompanies me.
The direction of my eyes is his pointing finger.
My happy attentive listening to every sound
Is him playfully tickling my ears.
We get along so well together
In the company of everything
That we never think about each other,
But the two of us live together
With an inner accord
Like right and left hands.
At nightfall we play jacks
On the doorstep of the house,
Gravely as is fitting a god and a poet,
And as if each jack
Were a whole universe
And because of this it would be a great danger
To let it fall on the ground.
Afterwards I tell him stories about things only people do
And he smiles, because it’s all incredible.
He laughs about kings and about those who are not kings,
And he feels hurt when he hears about wars,
And commerce, and the ships leaving
Their smoke on the high seas.
Because he knows all of this lacks the truth
A flower has in its blooming
And which moves with the sunlight
Changing the hills and valleys
And making whitewashed walls hurt your eyes.
Then he falls asleep and I put him to bed.
I carry him in my arms inside my house
And lay him down, undressing him slowly
Like following a ritual all clean
And maternal until he’s naked.
He sleeps in my soul
And sometimes he wakes up at night
And plays with my dreams.
He throws them around in the air,
Puts one on top of the other
And claps his hands all alone
Smiling at my sleep.
• — •
When I die, little boy,
Let me be a child, the littlest one.
Clasp me to your breast
And carry me inside your house.
Undress my tired and human being
And lay me down in your bed.
And tell me stories, in case I wake up,
To make me go to sleep again.
And give me your dreams to play with
Until the day comes —
You know which day I mean.
• — •
This is the story of my Boy Jesus.
Is there any reason you see
For it not to be more true
Than everything philosophers think
And everything religions teach?