I couldn’t help but notice
that behind the flames and
under the cover of darkness,
your accent kept giving you away.
And behind your excuses,
which seemed ever-so calculated,
indeed, premeditated and
hardly fool-worthy, stood a man
burdened with an Enneagram 8
quickly collapsing into 6.
You kept him company on the road,
journeyed about, temporarily, at least,
leaving home and kin. You saddled
his donkeys, baked and broke his bread, and
argued about sitting at his right hand
in the kingdom come. Yet here you are,
the memories haunting about as if
ghosts on your shoulders. Thrice denial,
welcomed by cowardice, is offered up
in the name of self-protection.
You can’t take this back. You won’t
forget this. You will contemplate this
decision for as long as you live. It will
trouble your theology and shake
your spirit. “I don’t know what you’re saying.”
An unsettled epistemology under fire,
behind flames, cloaked in darkness,
unable to come to grips with coherence.
You will rewind and replay this endlessly,
wishing you could have just
done it all so differently. But you didn’t.
He was right. He told you so.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.