The evangelist – spiritual aide-de-camp
to Old Glory’s Commanders-in-Chief,
and nostrum-monger of eternal life –
in white shirt, black shoes, socks, trousers, the Good Book
open in his hands, sits astride a donkey
near the Garden of Gethsemane
on Mount Olive. Below him on Temple Mount,
in noonday brightness, is the Dome of the Rock
and the Al-Aksa Mosque and, out of sight,
the Western Wall. He looks at the camera
as one who might say, ‘Behold! When the Jews
hold Jerusalem heaven will open.
Jesus will return on a white horse!’
The donkey’s Arab minder – in slightly
shabby casual wear – steadies the beast
by placing his right arm on its hindquarters.
The goad, which he holds in his left hand,
rests on the creature’s belly. His wrist watch
is exposed. We can almost tell the time.
He smiles or leers at the camera
as if to say, ‘Behold!’