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Crucifixion

by Krzysztof Koehler
Translated from Polish by
Bill Johnston
Issue 7 Online Exclusive

The halberdier was more propping up
his side than piercing it, casually it seemed.
“A static scene. Though the hearts of mothers
will immediately comprehend the droop of Mary’s head.”

He spoke. Yet I was looking at John:
A little to the side, he was taller than the halberdier
by the tone of his eyes, the gesture of his hand.
“Let there be peace. He has already given

his soul to God.” This may be where
Gnostics came from, if one of them dallied somewhat longer
in Biecz. The body does not suffer. The spirit is a different state.

Mary Magdalene was there too.
About her he said nothing. She was like earth.
Christ was like time.

Krzysztof Koehler (born in 1963) is a poet, essayist, journalist, film director, and scholar. He has published four volumes of poetry and co-authored several documentaries. He lives in Krakow, Poland.
Translator
Bill Johnston is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Indiana. He won the PEN Translation Prize, the Best Translated Book Award: Fiction, and the AATSEEL Translation Award for Stone Upon Stone by Wiesław Myśliwski. His translation of Magdalena Tulli’s In Red was shortlisted for Best Translated Book Award: Fiction.