the thole pin
Christ’s death was not the summer solstice
but just a few days shy of it on my side in bed at four
my legs are crossed to admit the executioner’s nail
while the light leaks through an ash I should take down
before it halves as the father and his son said
who could fell it for say nine hundred dollars
into my respective neighbors’ yards
Tom said he could die after he’d painted
the crucifixion which he gave to a friend
who lost it in a stack of newspapers
his agonies of Jesus hang on my walls
one morning at his camp Tom’s speech turned
chthonic until he shook a seizure a local quake
a thunder that finally rumbled into sleep
he’s long overboard who pulled the oar with me
still on the Odyssey’s bench of rowers
parsing the Greek he helped me with in college
reading his heavily underlined Beethoven biographies
his Harvard collection of Biblical commentaries
without his wind I’d be whipped until I died
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