Poem: This Cup, This Bread

Poem: This Cup, This Bread

This poem was written 1996, back at the beginning of the wrestling and research that eventually became Recovering Communion in a Violent World. The poem is still somewhat preoccupied with violence in a way that gives it more attention, but it’s a glimpse of the author’s emerging perspective at the time.

If you let them
they will break and reset your jaw
so you will say that all of it —
the brutality of the lash,
the blunt savagery of execution —
was beneficial,

shatter and recast each knuckle
so that you will sculpt him as some euphoric kamikaze
sent smashing through the armor of sin and death
in a last, splintering fireball
of grace.

Do not let yourself be molded.

When you take the cup
with its clotting red inside
and hold it up,
when you take and tear
the sinuous bread apart,
proclaim the truth
of that vast, unshattered love
revealed in Jesus’ courage
to the last,

and do not cease
until he comes
and stands among you
to turn that flesh and blood
back to bread and wine.

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