She knows beyond a shadow

of a doubt it’s he

hunched between spokes

of fire-light, a disciple

of jaded spirit begging warmth.

Later they’ll say this

was the way it was prophesied,

how he drowned his no

in the Sea of Galilee

only to have it return

in a cacophony of cockcrowing.

Meanwhile, his charade

leaves her standing alone

in the cobbled courtyard.

Her idea of God sputters,

swaddled in fear

and distraction.

She brushes back

a strand of hair, ponders

the word denial.

A sudden tightness

inhabits her chest

as behind her the devil

chuckles and the scorpion

bites the One

she wants to believe in.

Her eyes blur under the sting

of invisible screams

in the huge grey room

of her confusion.

What if she’s dreamed

it all?

In her hand a small

and flickering wick

gnaws a hole in the dark.