what crime? I asked, the first time,
when shoved up to the post, and is it mine?
do I stand here, in lieu of you?
I can hold that pain a while if it means
you won’t hurt – come lay it all
on me. but tell me that’s my purpose,
for it means my soul can see, you intend me
a temporary martyr; we’ve both shouldered
I know it’s worth it, when you’re too beaten to
bear more, and though disgraced,
I will be redeemed,
as you always, in my eyes,
ever a holy beam and honoured,
in love, and longing, and light,
my sacrifices, willing then, flesh offered to the bite, the sting,
of every blow delivered,
each one landing, taken for you, and though you see me
shiver – keep them coming, master,
strike them all again: rather me than you tonight,
set braced against this pain.
make me your guilt and penance,
and for your sins, shriven,
as ever I make you, for mine,
so desired and forgiven.
our greatest sin is only following,
so lead me to the post, my love:
and it is calling.