Joseph of Arimathea

By 
Elaine Jackson

Joseph of Arimathea
is riding the Carleton Street car
grail tucked in a gym bag
underneath the seat.
He’s gone so far as to carry it
in plain sight.
A woman once asked him
if he was taking a pottery class.
He tried to give it to her
but she didn’t want it.

Joseph of Arimathea
cannot win for losing.
He is more than 2000 years old.
His back hurts and his hips
ache all winter.
Condemned for generosity
custodian
to the holiest of relics
object of so many quests
and Hollywood musicals.
He gave up concealing it
after leaving Glastonbury
all those bloody hills
so hard on his knees.
He moves it every couple of years.
Took it to New York in 2001, but
it seems that Yahweh was not pleased.
New Orleans turned out to be
a bit of a wash. And it came back by FedEx
from the Vatican.

Joseph of Arimathea
has tried leaving it on the subway,
on the counter in the deli, in the washroom
at Pizza Delight. He has prayed to God to
“take this cup away from me.”
But God has Her reasons.

Joseph of Arimathea
and his sacred appurtenance
take the bus to the mental health clinic,
where he participates in a painting class:
reimagining the silks of his homeland,
reminiscing about long lost
personal rapture, and hoping for
someone
up-and-coming
to win this trophy.

Elaine Jackson is a freelance writer, editor, yoga teacher, and work-in-progress. She lives north of Mount Albert, Ontario—pretty much in the middle of a swamp. She is in the beginning stages of a book on feminism and yoga.

“It's Canadian, feminist, and one of my favourite things ever.”

—bucketofrhymes, "29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading", Buzzfeed Books

Room relies on subscriptions from readers like you. Help us continue to promote and support diverse women and genderqueer authors and artists by subscribing today.

SUBSCRIBE

Currently on Newsstands

  • Queer Issue
    Room 41.3, Queer
    Edited by Leah Golob

    In this issue:

    Adèle Barclay, Joelle Barron, Nicole Breit, Mary Chen, Lucas Crawford, Jen Currin, Pamela Dodds, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Jess Goldman, hannah harris-sutro, Leah Horlick, Sam Jowett, Ness Lee, Annick MacAskill, Alessandra Naccarato, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Marika Prokosh, Amal Rana, Siobhan Roca Payne, Leah Sandals, Hana Shafi, Arielle Spence, Samantha Sternberg, Sanchari Sur, K.B. Thors, Corey Turner, Jackie Wykes

    .