You May Experience Some Joint Discomfort by Denise Alden

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.

Hear Denise Alden recite the poem on the Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast:

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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.

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