Thomas Eakins, "The Crucifixion"

Pain seizes, scatters through. Stiffens limbs and races, fire-blazed, along nerve and vein. Agony claws, crawls knife-point trails through bone and marrow. Shudders breathing—shutters eyes. The body, struck and shattered like glass, writhes in burning misery.

You hang there, and I stand here with You. Lifted away from me, borne aloft from arms that ache to enclose. Carried up to heights even this Mother’s heart cannot follow.

And still I stand. And still You hang.

And we both dangle.

You breathe, and I with You. Choked gasp—slow drawn shallow breath. You breathe, and I with you.

So far we’ve come for separation. This second Temple presentation. Here now, Father, take my Son. Draw Him away to night and leave me in shadow.

As we descend to double dark.

Breathe, and I with You. Struggle, stretch mangled limbs up and out. Straighten, gasp, sink down again. Though I don’t move, my heart beats with Yours. As it once did when, unseen, this heart of mine beat tangibly for Yours. When this body gave You the blood that now drips down distended arms. Wrapped You in the flesh that now trembles in agony.

I gave You life with each breath of mine; now Your each fading breath gives Life to me.

And I fight for air, wrestle winged hope. Tears well, hang unshed.

Hang with You.

Then the cry, the mournful scream that rends the Veil and my heart. Your last breath escapes and I, I scatter away with You.

And they take You down, and I to my knees. And You to my arms.

Cradled close. Rocked to sleep with kisses and slow falling tears.

Fra Bartolommeo, "Deposition"

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