Sunday, December 20, 2015

Innocent, except

After Acts 26

He makes a defense in the form
of confession, and what compels
is not so much what he says
(which does appear rather insane)
but how he says it, the passion,
the conviction, the disregard
for what we hear, as if what
matters is the speaking, the act
of words, the word. And then he
asks me, tells me, I believe
the prophets, and I rise and
leave, asking myself how this man
sees my heart better than I do. And
we know, Festus and I, this Roman
and this king, that he is innocent,
he could be, should be, freed,
except for his appeal. I stand
on the balcony, see the crowds
below and the ravens above,
perched and waiting.

Painting: Apostle Paul on Trial by Nikolai Bodarevsky (1875). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.