An Apostle's Testimony
by Tom Baker

I cannot say I know him,
he is not like that;
you are known by him
and listen for your name.

I have rested in his speech and
allowed his words to flutter in my chest
like expectation.

Sometimes he is angry,
his rage tangling in his speech
like flame in a tree.
Then he drops his hands and weeps.
Because of this some say he's mad.
But I think not.
No madman possesses his dignity
or with his possession details
the history of a lie.

He touches lepers; reaches
into the teeming crater of a face
and smears his spittle
on what a demon's excrement
has made to rot and stink;
and in the shadow of his withdrawing hand
the face remembers itself as whole.

He is a question to us
But he insists that we are, ourselves,
The answer to what he is.


© Copyright Tom Baker 2019- 2008