a spinning rack where suffering indicates
all goes well we’re alive and not curled
up in the black hushhush death dictates
as its first condition: no screaming there
We crown ourselves with thorns of past
transgressions Sharp spears of deed spare
no rib of pain: around the cross crashed
common lightning usual blood Who earns
our reverence should break both cross and crutch
in the face of suffering: while the rack turns
and tightens they’ll smile at the sense of touch
Suffering’s too common to be worth
anything joy too rare to be priced
The saints we search for will embrace the earth:
what wild-eyed murderer suffers less than Christ?
from: The Contracted World: New & More Selected Poems. Copyright 2006.