“Jesus Raises Up the Harlot”

The harlot squatted
with her hands over her red hair.
She was not looking for customers.
She was in a deep fear.
A delicate body clothed in red,
as red as a smashed fist
and she was bloody as well
for the townspeople were trying
to stone her to death.
Stones came at her like bees to candy
and sweet redheaded harlot that she was
she screamed out I never, I never.
Rocks flew out of her mouth like pigeons
and Jesus saw this and thought to
exhume her like a mortician.Jesus knew that a terrible sickness
dwelt in the harlot and He could lance it
with His two small thumbs.
He held up His hand and the stones
dropped to the ground like doughnuts.
Again he held up His hand
and the harlot came and kissed Him.
He lanced her twice. on the spot.
He lanced her twice on each breast,
pushing His thumbs in until the milk ran out,
those two boils of whoredom.
The harlot followed Jesus around like a puppy
for He had raised her up.
Now she forsook her fornication
and became His pet.
His raising her up made her feel
like a little girl again when she had a father
who brushed the dirt from her eye.
Indeed, she took hold of herself,
knowing she owed Jesus a life,
as sure-fire as a trump card.
Anne Sexton
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