1627 c/o Alexander J. Allison

Zurbaran, Christ on the Cross

in an alcove behind the altar,
I saw Jesus.

I mean it was obviously him;
there was no mistaking that.

Against the darkness,
his head lolled deeply into his shoulder,
in a lazy, calm way.

Though still pimping a cross,
he wasn’t suffering:
he looked like a handsome fucker,
all luminous and ‘out-there’,
rare and enticing, like a shiny Pokémon card.
His skin was sculpted,
rippled with carpentry’s defined muscles.

Jesus seemed very still.
I could imagine him waking up and announcing,
‘I’m back, bitches’
in an indignant, American accent
that would still manage to ring with a cloying purity.

I stayed for a while, expecting correspondence,
hoping to be complicit in his comeback:
humanity’s finalé,
our top ten hits.

Though only a painting,
I had believed him.
I don’t feel tricked at all.