He Touches Us

If You Choose

to love God
in a world of dying
dreams and things,
your bonds
will be loosed,
your chest cut
open, your bruised
heart massaged
until dead flesh
plucks the strings
of hope again.
— E. Hughes
He Touches Us

Jesus bandages our raw ribbons
of flesh like Joseph of Arimathea
and Nicodemus bound his. He touches us,
our wounds: Pink tissue, bones, blown
up brains, blood, our coming apart
black skin. After he was beaten
by police, He put his fingers into Emmet
Till’s eye socket. After he was shot,
He felt Trayvon
Martin’s warm, cratered body
lying in green grass. After she was
hung from a tree, He placed his hands over Mary
Turner’s lacerations. And He believed.
— E. Hughes
Divine Grief

Even God turned to art in his time of grief,
took up the bodies of believers, pushed

them over, blinded them, in the middle
of streets, met with them on tops of mountains,

opened them up like gifts and whispered
Write my Adam and Eve, about how they

poisoned themselves and their children.
Write of Job and Jacob, about Sarah’s rape,

about Judah’s exile, wailing women and famine.
Write of two-year-olds genocided, about John’s head.

And write my Son flogged, his limping,
and being nailed to two cross-beams of wood.
— E. Hughes
Brett Baumgardner