Jesus as a Jaded Lover

I gave my body and what you gave me

Was coffee and burnt toast in the morning,

Love poems, prayers that cried, Me, Me, Me.

What a wild night, you couldn’t believe

Your moonlit luck, thunder-relieved longing—

I gave what you could never give to me.

You cut panes of stained glass so I could see

Inside your church, but the crowds were yawning;

Your love poems only babbled, Me, Me, Me.

Wow, man. Don’t you get it? I set you free

From thirst, my sweat a fine red wine pouring

From my body. What did you give me?

A fumbling one-night stand, a lame story

Of ecstasy you’ll waste life remembering

In pathetic prayers, bad poems about me.

And now this purling verse, about to be

Dust, deleted, uneaten. Look darling,

I gave my body burning, all you gave

Were poems, prayers: less than air to me.


Gregory Emilio’s poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Best
New Poets, Crab Orchard Review, F(r)iction, Midwestern Gothic, Nashville
Review, Permafrost, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Poet’s Billow, The
Southeast Review
, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He’s the Nonfiction Editor
at New South, and a PhD candidate in English at Georgia State University in
Atlanta.