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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Tammeus' Nicodemus, Nicodemus: In Preparation for Trinity Sunday


Nicodemus, Nicodemus
By William D. Tammeus





Heaven knows being born once
was enough trouble;
maybe even more than it was worth.
And now he says I should
go through it all again, all again; but
not the way it was before,
with borning's labor and pain
and anxious minutes
while they wondered if spanking
my pink moist little rump
would make me breathe.

Not with the heat and climax
of conception
and the swelling and the guessing
about what they had conceived after all.
None of that is called for this time,
but I'll be damned if I know what is.
No, I'm not sure I do believe him or in him
or even want to, for that matter.
But looking into those onyx eyes,
black and shiny as a wet crow,
seeing right through me, they were.

What does a Pharisee know
of being born of spirit or spirits
and water and all that?
Look at me! Look!
What do you see but flesh
and more flesh and nothing more.
How are water and spirit
to be reconciled with the flesh,
is what I want to know.
Dust and water make mud together,
not spirit, not spirit.

And then, then he said
all I need do
is believe him and in him and
I could have eternal life.
Imagine that! Imagine me forever!
To have no death in one's future
would be to have no sleep after
a long, unimportant day.
I enjoy living as I enjoy wine,
but too much of either makes me
wish I'd done without.

It's all so unclear.
But, oh, those eyes.
You should have looked
into those black eyes.