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Incarnadine by Clement Boland

imageChrist’s olive hands hung limp to sides
Where, freshly torn,
Life hung in tender, stinking loops
My friend had shot this Jesus,

From behind, as he ran from the
Bazaar scene of his crime,
Bullet bouncing through buttock,
From spine,

To spill his soul from his stomach
In folds
Mixed up with manhood amongst
His crimson robes.

I have asked him while,
And often since,
We bore him calmly sleeping
To the bower of the Pinzer,

Why then, as I stood cover,
His hand fell from behind upon my knee
Because I closed the hatch
To hide his shattered dignity.

His hand fell from behind upon my knee
So I, late,
Went fussing with the tailgate
A slow repentant Pilate.

His hand fell from behind upon my knee
As he passed and whispered:
I, Like you, was a man
Set under authority

Clem Boland served with the British Army in Afghanistan.