by Jose Marte Abueg
You know it happened not because He
predicted it and so things moved quickly
across infinity to be dead at three o’clock.
It was because you sank, likely entangled
in the cat-o’-nine-tails in your head,
and the thorn wreath, the cross, and
the boat nails — were you petrified,
Simon, that in your case, if it were you,
everything would end at that, because
unlike Him you are merely human?
Thrice you were asked and thrice
you wished you could hide and disappear
like the believers who were on the mount
and the multitudes who were convinced
that He was earth, water, air and heaven,
you looked around and they were nowhere.
How should you have replied, Simon?
Should you have declared: Yes, I am
with Him, He is the one light I follow,
the loved and loving Master who has
made me walk on water and made me
a fisher of men; I will go up to the altar,
open my flesh and offer my blood —
I shall take His place and His passion
and so myself become like God?
You thrashed about like a fish newly caught
in a net of panic and dim haze. You fought
and tried to cut it; you groped and found
inside you neither blade nor heart nor depth.
Even His words puzzled and mystified you,
uttered softly, a prayer so pained and all too
human: “Take this cup away from me.”
All things turned into a sunless desert,
and like a chicken terrified you thrice
cackled a confused and cowardly denial.

But Simon, you had every reason
to be afraid. You’re no divine temple,
you will not, at the third sunrise, be rebuilt,
the sea will not, by just your will, hold you up
on your feet, and its winds, its horrendous winds
will heed no command from you.

Simon, you are a rock broken,
a mortal mass of fragments, and the truth
facing you, whole and deathless, is the knowledge
that the choice was yours to make, yours alone,
and that you will forever be just a man.

And he went out, and wept bitterly.

– Luke 22:62