Road to Jericho

dirt road extends into a rocky valley
desert road
Photo by Wendy Wei on

I think

the Samaritan

on the road to Jericho

was someone

who once lay dying in the desert

and needed somebody

to save them.

I think

that’s how they learned

to save the next someone.


God fits as light as a feather

in the palm of my hand.

His spirit graces my fingers,

showing me words my mouth never knew could run.


God sobs bigger than the wilderness,

he cries storms that end droughts,

I scream to the sage brush ruts

and his rainclouds wash me clean,

I sway barefoot on the rocks

and his red robes dribble over the moon,

“by this scarlet sunrise know,

I have swelled the sea for you.”


God closes his eyes in the dark,

because he doesn’t need to see

under my covers

to hug me.


Burn, some day, some night, by some fire,

through olive oil smoke

God watches

the mirages

of my anger

obliterate nothing.

Under the beating heat I drift and I wander

but he holds me, a dot in the vast lifeline of his palm,

whispers in the sandstorm roars, “I have a plan.”


These grooves in my hands

are more immortal than your scars

this wound in my side

leaked more blood than your feet

I know how you’ve wandered

I know you’ll drift more

but I’ve known you forever,


and last night

do you believe

you could break me

do you believe

I am listening

or that I know

what I’m doing?

Do you believe

I’m the one

who no one could help

do you believe

I was the first soul

dying on the dry road to Jericho–

do you believe

in what that means?


What that means?

Lord, sometimes I pray at night into tomorrow

asking what I’m doing here

Lord I don’t have the words to package up the vast ache swallowing me whole as a whale,

and even though I know it won’t leave

I do a dance with my tears and shaking wrists

to try giving it to you,

Lord sometimes I swear at the ceiling

or maybe heaven

and it feels sacred somehow

Lord I scream at you in abject terror,

but silently and in my head cuz it’s so late

Lord you were there all the times I wanted to die,

Lord so often I wish I could fly away forever

and carry only everything with me that matters,

you were there for all that,

I believe that;

I know what that means

(you are here, deeper than skin with me),

and I don’t remember the robbers’ faces

or which hands stripped my clothes

but I like to believe

I remember you

in your glory, yet ordinary:

Omnipotent–and injured

Vast–and infinitesimal

All-seeing–and impaired

like me

but also more


than the roads that desolate me.

4 thoughts on “Road to Jericho

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