Love Song for Judas

Queen of Libya, scourge of Egypt
I lay waste to Greece with the keenness of my teeth
In Babylon, they called me the Unclean One
I drank blood, defiled flesh
On moonlit sand, I appeared to him
A midnight shade, transparent
My organs showed like ink bleeds through paper
I wailed as jackals in the grasslands do

She came out of the desert, dark-haired and pale like a devil. Her complexion was bloodless as the handmaids of the dead. Alabaster is a prized but useless stone, too soft for building strongholds. When she spoke in the tongue of kings, I believed her. She let her garment fall and I embraced her. White is the color of absence.

My love for him is pure and selfless
I haunt him
Tyrannical and selfish
I hunt him
Love is constant but wears many faces
My greatest tragedy—he hates me

I saw my master last at Golgotha, hammered up with murderers and thieves. Even in the cruelest sun, he held that sacrifice is necessary. These things are known to those who have prophecy. She came to me by the water and said, Is it right that you should be so sad? He has flown home to his father. Her reflection in the pool showed her half-serpent. Sometimes the hardest thing is simply knowing what you deserve.

I do not know if the dream came first
Or if it was the stark, brutal moment
He could not be comforted
Even now, I am remembered of it
I wake standing below him
Rope digging at his throat
I hide my mouth and do not scream
This time is all times—purple face, blue-lipped grimace
I am always about to cut his body down

The tree was bent and twisted, bleached by sun. The knots drew tight, damp with the useless weight of tears. Dusk grew to darkness, and the stars came out. I hung myself on the hilltop. There was a pain in my traitor’s heart, from within and from everywhere. I knew that I was dying. The ache in my chest was my one true prayer, seen by God and answered. But no redemption is absolute. Witch, harridan, goddess—she had cursed me. Her kiss was the final debauchery.

They say betrayal came disguised as love
A gesture to the doomed savior
The righteous symbol, the man; they ate and drank of him before he died.
In such a way I woke my lover
Wild and tender, savage and deep
I had never offered my poison to another
I tore my lips with vicious teeth and leaned to find his mouth
His eyes opened
My line has always had its share of blood-drinkers

10 thoughts on “Love Song for Judas

  1. Poetry! I like how distinct their voices are–his long and stretching to the margins, hers… clipped. There is so much going on behind the scenes!

  2. I like this — “They say betrayal came disguised as love.” I loved Him, Judas loved Him, but I still betrayed Him.

    Judas’ memories haunt me — “Sometimes the hardest thing is simply knowing what you deserve.”

    This is from my manuscript — The sun, heavier than my heart, falls towards the horizon. A twisted trunk leaning almost horizontally clings precariously to the bank I’m sitting on. The bleached trunk and roots claw at the parched ground. A braided length of leather is tied around the trunk, and my thumb, seductive, caresses the oil stained braids–where did I find it? How did I get here?

    Looking at my left hand, it takes me a while to comprehend its dried blood I am looking at. My eyes lift lazily and look across the dry watercourse. The sun is low enough to look directly into its golden orb … ‘Run, brother, run!’ … I don’t feel anything anymore.

    I love your story.

  3. Hahaha 😀 And to think, I toned it way down for the sake of common decency (those biblical-style demons are freaky, I’ll tell you what)

  4. Thanks, Simon 🙂 And thanks for sharing your writing–I especially like this: The sun, heavier than my heart, falls towards the horizon.

  5. The sad thing is, this didn’t even start out as poetry–it was just supposed to be a lovestory in two voices, but apparently my version of Lamia only speaks in near-rhyme.

  6. This line is the absolute best:

    Sometimes the hardest thing is simply knowing what you deserve.

    This is fiction-in-verse at its best.

  7. Thanks–I’ve never done fiction in verse before, and now it’s gotten me all fired up about my demons again (I miss them so!)

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