"Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my servant shall be healed."- Matthew 8:8

The man who leads us to this forest

moistens his leader's cheek.

They lock eyes. I tremble.

Eyes bereft of hate

meet eyes bereft of mercy.

(His blood upon our heads! they say,

His blood upon our children's heads!)

He touched me, we cursed Him

He blessed me, we whipped Him.

He brought my servant back,

we scattered His, everywhere.

Coins of dried blood stare back at me,

as he falls and falls and falls.

(Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

We are men of war! Crucify Him!)

His wounds sear my flesh

His blood clouds my eyes,

beneath our carefully crafted crown.

The warmth of women's tears

drench me in guilt.

My servant follows Him, watches Him:

healed body, broken heart.

(Unworthy of His healing touch.

Worthy of poisoning Him

with mine)

Will my helmet guard me

from the fierce ripping of cloth?

Will my shield shield me

from His parched lips, soft with myrrh?

Will my gods protect me

from the urgent cried for His?

(Fathers, forgive me, for I know not what I have done)

The sky turns black.

I search for light…

I look up…

Dead eyes.

Dead soul.

A/N: Most of this is purely my own assumption that as a man of war, the centurion whose servant was cured by Jesus (Matthew 8:8) would probably have been forced to participate in Jesus' crucifixion. If this offends anybody, I would like to give my sincere apologies.