by David Beaumier

 

Before I was born my family
would stop by the courthouse to read
the condemnation of Pontius.
I don’t know if any hands were cleaned
once the book was closed—
the way we washed feet for the Last
Supper the night before.

After I was born we skipped
ahead in the narrative.
One of my brothers would
lash two bars of wood
together at the top of
a hill at the end of a path
leading to a cemetery.

At the entrance to the
cemetery we chased the
brother carrying the burden
down
from the graveyard
to a river.

As I grew older the roles changed—
I carry the cross down the hill
while my brothers cackle and scourge
me until I tire, and one is elected Simon
after a hurried three falls.

It never rained on Good Friday.
(I never remembered the rain.)
So in the chill spring
evening I’d take off my
shirt and stretch out on
the cross, slanted over a boulder,

two trains spikes held gently in my
hands, waiting to be taken down into
my mother’s arms.

I say “I thirst,”
and my father puts a vinegar sponge
to my lips so that
I may turn away.


DAVID BEAUMIER’s true love is Argentine tango. When he drags himself away from dance long enough to write and submit work, his stories have appeared in EWU’s Inroads, WWU’s Suffix, and Whatcom Writes’ Choices and Resistance. He worked as the Assistant Publishing Director at Village Books and now edits professionally part time. He’s currently pursuing his Masters in English Studies at WWU while also serving as the project manager for The Writers’ Corner, which is expected to have a 3rd publication in the fall of 2020. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2009.


Photo: “Good Friday” by Víctor Nuño