On Seeing through the Bad Guys – Pilate

Pluto must have thought of politics
when he first handed the boulder
over to Sisyphus. The cold, damp, useless
weight of it just sitting there, the sound
of its mass ringing with the promise
of cuts, and scrapes, and the awful grind
of stone on stone and tendon’s pop.
Just so, there wasn’t much to recommend
the sweaty work of Judea before: the
grit and dirt of it works in your robes,
the sun robs you of rich reds and purples
you thought made you so high, until
you are wearing the earth and sand itself,
until you feel you might be stone.
I have lived this toil, I have pushed
men, armies, people, senators, and emperors
up the incline of my life’s ascent. And then,
high above the street on a blinding day, there was a roar of crowd
that seemed to lift the weight, for just the tiniest moment
of hanging stone and hanging time. Friends, I swear, I did not
let go for long! And then the awful, crushing knowledge of its falling: a man slaughtered quietly beneath it, its murderous inertia rushing, dragging, me to judgment…
And so I, Pontius Pilate the Equestrian, came, weeping, to ride a stone.

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