the thief

(Luke 23:40–42)

all my life it seems
there are these guys
they pop into my scenes
like bad ideas
in full flesh
reactive stances
stiff cold eyes
“fuck work” they say
“don’t even go” or
“let’s get drunk” or
“just take it” and
“what’re they gonna’ do?”
they’re black holes
swallowing light
and you can bet they were right there hovering around Jesus
in the market
on a hill
at the dock
“you should turn
the water into Vodka”
they’d say or
they’d drag 
a massive basket 
with one
wedged in the wicker
at the dark bottom
“Jesus! Hey Jesus!
multiply this!”

these guys
they’re inverted Pharisees
they shrug law
and catch no truth
when shepherds teach
they’re only power
is profanity
they’re only thrill
they’re dead on the inside
and on the out
they stand
open hands
at the parade
to be the first
to catch the candy
and the first
to mock and laugh
at the parade crash

but whaddya do?
have they any hope?

they let the absurd
gum-up their eyes
block out the light
“they know not what they do”
and there they were
in the front row
of history’s most grandiose parade crash
—the crucifixion—
after receiving bread and wine and fish
(crumbs still stuck in their beards)
flush with derision
“if you’re God, jump down!”
and “save yourself, magic-man!”
and “you’re the king of the Jews?!”
and “do a trick for us Jesus!”
All of them thoroughly drunk 
on contemptuous fun
all laughing at him
all scoffing at him
all mocking him
all hating him
all of them

except for one.

From the NEW Collection of Poetry by Dan Kent:
Diamonds Mixed with Broken Glass
Available at Amazon: HERE

For more hermeneutical poetry,
please follow me on twitter: @thatdankent
artwork: Issachar Ber Ryback