Jimmy Carter is the real Jesus Christ

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The skin beneath his left eye
sags and swells
with the dark blood
of a bruise,
contrasted against the white
gauze covering his stitches.

His hands shake.
Shoulders hunched,
he seems poised
for another fall,
but instead someone
gives him a drill:
he’s building houses.

95 years old,
and still a carpenter
wearing sawdust
like a cologne,
providing homes
for the homeless.

Meanwhile, I’m worried
that I left my sandals
at the resort in Belize,
a traditional make,
leather, like I imagine
Jesus might have worn,
and now I can only hope
they’re on the feet
of a beach peddler.

I lay in bed all day,
a sin of sloth
for which I ask no forgiveness,
and at night my heart
beats hard enough
to shake my body and the bed
in its frame, so much
I mistake it for
an earthquake.

There is no salvation
to be found in America,
where Jesus Christ
is nearing his deathbed
with a hammer in his hand,
except to awaken
in your own bed
at 3:30 AM
convinced you heard
the voices of loved ones
long dead, singing
the last verse
of Amazing Grace.

I never thought
I’d live this long,
to have traveled this far
just to end up waiting,
barefoot at the end
of such a long dark hall.

Written by

Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at: .

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