“Beautiful Jesus”

“It would be futile to say: as a man, I don’t matter. I don’t. I don’t matter. But remember what I mean, for the body of every symbol is absurd. Tell me: how did Jesus pee? Who will preach on this point? Who will address himself to this question? Did He? Oh yea, Sisters and Brothers, He did. He peed the same as you do. Certainly the same, Brothers. Fully as well, too. Yea, fully as often. A pale straw-yellow stream. It’s more likely He was circumcised than He was wispy bearded, weakly blond, girl whiskerless, a boy at twenty though a man at ten, a carpenter each inch a king. He was, in sum, an ordinary Son of God, the average kind, in all ways pious, meek, contentious, thin. Food wedged in His teeth, for instance; His skin blistered. Empty, His belly rumbled; stones cut His feet. Consider a moment the chemistry of the Last Supper. And when hung on the cross, between the thieves, He felt no differently the kiss of His nail s than they did theirs. I can assure you of that much. Happy to do so, Sisters; happy . . . so happy, Brothers. So much, too, you’re this God’s equal. He made His wind like anyone. His buttocks coughed, and I can imagine He was tempted, relieving Himself, to spatter the spider who’d bit Him. His body made Him humble, yet He was piss proud. What sense to say He had one otherwise? What sense? But futile. Yea, Brothers–bombaddybast. They’ve scrubbed Him, drained His fluids, wiped up His colors, ironed out His creases. Beautiful Jesus–the embalmer’s pride.”

– Omensetter’s Luck, William Gass (pp. 168-169)


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