I am not who you thought I am
         on the road from Jerusalem
to Jericho. the unbandaged body
left to the high-sun heat of the sand
         and rock. the holy shall not
touch the deadthey pass on the
other side of the wayside, the long flax
         me'il of the broad-shouldered priest
flapping tranquillythough I breathe
and contain the entirety of my wretched,
         sand-bruised being in that breath:
tell me, stranger, what is my blood-dried
breath to you, you who have come along
         and taken the nothingness of my life
and placed it on your struggling
shoulderswhat do the fractured
           ribs matter under the gentleness
of your palms, what is the starved
weight to you as you prop it upon
           the sighing ass. do you care for
every stranger with the love that
carries me to the inn. is my sin nothing
           to you that you undo the
suffering our God has broken me with?
we must all be saviors to one another,
           is what I can see through
my own bruised eyes in regarding
yours, squinting in the strong light of
           the Jericho sun, the brunt color
of suffering taken on as their own, yet
knowing nothing of the breath of sin.