On Crucifixion by J. Kirk Richards
Some seduction, this—flesh stripped of sweat,
blood, breath, soul; his body gone limp at the crux
of God’s mystery, shipped home C.O.D.
in a crate stamped “Fragile,” and pinned
to the threshold of paradox like a sack spit
by vespers into the neighbor’s vining buds.
From here, leaf chatter and whisper of plastic
sound like questions shedding their skin:
When God cross-dresses in death, does
the universe blush? Does it worship
the crimson-stained grain of his skin,
the shadow of his ribs? Does it praise
his left breast until milk warms the tongue
like redemption? Like silence? Like blasphemy?
Tyler Chadwick is a doctoral candidate in English and the Teaching of English at Idaho State University and his poems have been published in various journals: Dialogue, Metaphor, Irreantum, Salome, Black Rock & Sage, Wilderness Interface Zone, and Victorian Violet Press Poetry Journal. In 2009 he received the Ford Swetnam Poetry Prize and in 2010 he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He’s also the editor of Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-first Century Mormon Poets.