You May Experience Some Joint Discomfort by Denise Alden Yoko Ono was the first person I heard say the quiet part out loud: to be a Christian is to be crucified sooner or later. Is this true, Jesus? The Emperor of Maladies brings us to our knees, sometimes to religion, but I thought of You only when my wrists howled from Paclitaxel’s iron-like nails: O, Jesus, what agony You must have suffered when the human parts of You overshadowed the divine. I don’t believe You cried out for Your father: humans wail for their mothers, the home and center of our origin. We petition our fathers for revenge or justice, our mothers for mercy. No one answered my caterwauling: time simply moved forward, its echo chamber of stars deaf to my old woman’s keening, just like it was deaf to You, our lamentations extinguished in this icy galaxy we call home, no matter how long our nearest star promises to burn.
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Denise Alden is a poet. Some of her work can be found at The Sunlight Press, Red Flag Poetry, and in Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic. She lives on the traditional homelands of the Dakota, now known as the Twin Cities in Minnesota.