Altos De Betania

John 1:26-28 NIV

[26] “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. [27] He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” [28] This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

I was once set free in Bethany, so far from Jerusalem the rainy season fills the streets into rivers and the dry season ignites the hills, black ash a veil, a shroud over all

Who are you?

In the house of figs and sadness, blessed are the poor in spirit who

Know they cannot raise themselves to life

Let all the other signifiers change for us

To Lazarus to life

Carried Over

We are collectively surprised at how ephemeral the boat is, balloonish, easily punctured. As are we. I wonder if the others have drawn the same conclusions-we have become ghosts in our erstwhile stories, still haunted by the house, by the spouse, by the hope we left behind.

Only Lazarus whistles a chipper tune. Why is he so happy? Because nothing is a cool hand to lose.

Rude Interrogatory

I try to establish timeline–

It was the spring…close to Passover

How long had you been dying?

How long had you? he retorts, not angry, incisive.

Surely I have touched a nerve, who else gets bullied for coming back from the dead?

But it is the one question he answers, the one time I hear his speaking voice–

Same as you, from the moment I was born.

The Waiting Room

John 11:1,3 KJV

[1] Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. [3] Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

In the waiting room, I try to act casual, as though I have not followed him here, studied his story, combed it for gaps and terrible silence.

I prattle on about my own sodden sorrow

Unsurprisingly, he is an excellent listener.

But he holds his peace, his haunting piece, tragedy and conjecture, punctuated by improbable



John 11:3 KJV

[3] Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

In my hunger I sit with him, follow him from room to room. Marvel at his silence

He does not have to tell me what we both already know, but I trail him regardless

Want something from him

Whether it is what he saw so long ago now or what he will not say

About the days of our mutual confinement

4 Days Gone

Who knew the bosom of Abraham was the ICU at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital or that anybody could become impatient with the nearly-returned-from-the-grave, this is sleeping beauty territory, he says, so many years after the event, as he stays with me through the insomniac watches of the night. You see only a muted scrim at first, but later you see so much more, the way time can be a tomb, and you in it, Lazarus,

It is He who always has

Walked in and out of these rooms with me

Delivering Light