the God who died

in the museum hangs

an old Spanish crucifix

or what’s left of one —

a Christ now crossless

frozen in the pose of death

with arms outstretched

thin ribs laid bare

the mounting-spikes of nails

now mere empty holes in hands and feet

for seven hundred years he has slept

seeming somehow not to mind

he always looks this way in art

pale and strangely beautiful

and clean — so clean — except

for a neat spear slit in his side

and perhaps a scratch or two from scourging

is it because we cannot take

the horror of what we made him to be?

a curse, a calamity, a scandal

a ragged wound and not a man

maybe we cannot face what

we made God become