The Last Supper


Apostles of the hidden sun
Are come unto the room of breath
Hung with the banging blinds of death,
The body twelve, the spirit one,
Far as the eye, in earth arrayed,
The night shining, the supper laid.


The wine shone on the table
that evening of history
Like an enormous ruby in the
bauble and mystery.

In the glowing walls of the
flickering decanter
There moved His face as at
the world's center.

The hands of Judas showed
up red and hurried
And the light hit them so,
like a cross carried

The faces of the others
were there and moving
In the crystal of the dome,
swiftly hovering.

The saints, unders a lens,
shrunken to pigmies,
Gesticulated in birds or
in colored enigmas.

Outside there was a storm,
the sound of temblors,
The blood bubbled and sprang
into the tumbers.

When the morning came like
a white wall of stone,
The day lay in the glass
and the blood was gone.

-Oscar Williams

Softly and Tenderly
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