I raise my right hand.
My left hand rests upon a pine bough
that will be pulped soon and turned into bible pages.
No swearing in takes place.
No cussing out takes place either.
This testament has something to do
with the many faces of Jesus.
I know there was only one Christ.
But so many people wrote the gospels:
Canonical, Gnostic, Jewish-Christian, Infancy,
reconstructed, fragmentary and lost,
from the first Matthew to last century’s Gabriele Wittek.
More gospels than I have fingers and toes to count.
Fewer gospels than sparrows & finches at my bird feeder.
I recall our last meeting—the Christ and myself.
A cafe with a Middle Earth motif.
I found her outside the front door
with a whimsical cardboard sign
made with a carbon-6 molecule drawing
requesting organic dietary supplements.
I ordered green chile cheeseburgers
and lemonades for us both.
She invited me to leave my body.
But I love Albuquerque, the beauty of its faults
and messy racial-cultural issues,
and refused to go.
The Christian inquisition
before which I testify
wishes proof of the girl’s divinity,
but I have nothing more to share
than her cardboard sign
with its black block lettering.
I mean, I just knew she was the Christ.
I just knew she needed help
so I declared her the Christ
to make it easier
to liberate twenties
from my wallet
beyond the cost of lunch.
copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney