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.