Faith, Published

I Often Try to Soften Jesus

I often try to soften Jesus—
he who claims he came to set the world

ablaze, set like flint, burning, burning,
bearing a sword, a whip of chords,

spit and spite and sweating blood,
wrenching demons and setting free

men in their graves, plucking eyes,
gnashing teeth in torture, offering flesh

for feast. Withered figs and gathered vultures,
coming judgment, outer darkness—

woe to you, blind guides, blind fools!

I often try to soften Jesus—

if I’m honest, I fear the father-son resemblance
and the price of abundant life.

Originally published in Heart of Flesh Literary Journal.