Maundy Thursday


April 5, 2005:  Maundy Thursday
(February 8, 2009 and before)


“This bread I break was once the oat”
was once my Maundy Thursday
was once my body before the break.


“The great wonder,” she writes,
“is that the human cells of His flesh and bone
didn’t explode”
and I wondered, that Thursday,
as I observed the clear fluid
trickling down the tubing
into me,
would those inhuman cells explode?

“The onening …” she writes,
“opened Him utterly
to the pain of all minds, all bodies”
the onening for me,
of my cup of poison,
my salvation,
opening me to newness?

Innocuous dripping, clear fluid with
sinister intent,
circumcision of non-self, cell by cell,
breaking bread, oat by oat.

Clear mix into plasma, red diffusion by
necessary toxin,
a vein of despondency, temporary brokenness
letting health bleed forth.

“This flesh you break, this blood you let
Make desolation in the vein,” he writes,
the bread real, the wine feels ripe
when spilled or rather split
by human condition,
mortal technique, with
divine aspiration.

This bread I break, Dylan Thomas 19;  On a Theme from Julian’s Chapter XXI, Denise Levertov 1987

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