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  • Joe Bisicchia

Black Nazarene

by Joe Bisicchia

You are far more than make believe,

far more than wood portrayed in suffering,

but the divine embodiment here amidst humanity.

And You make Your way.

You choose, You do, this way of thirst, to carry it,

the cross. You bare Your soul along our streets

through every Quiapo, on the way to crucifixion

seemingly day after day.

Even here, now. Your devotees opine in prayer

and look up to You. You, carved from mesquite,

robed in red sovereignty, hair braided of dyed abaca,

and halo, a golden crown.

And You are far more than this parade.

You are far more than any image, any charade.

Far more than any nativity infant figurine, handmade.

You are real. You are Love.

You, they know. The Filipino knows the passion

and suffering. The cross thou hadst died upon,

very emblem of their salvation. Only wood upon

wood, some may say, having fallen here,

having fallen to Manila via galleon centuries ago,

having fallen to humankind.

But this much we all may know—

this creation of Eden that You so very well carry,

this weight You bear as we all now look up

at You, is simply for all of us. Now, and always.

And in us, for us, the world, You spring forth Love.

For this, You thirst. For this You rise. For each

and every one of us.

Not because of any righteous ritual on humanity’s part.

But by Your mercy. And we of humanity joyfully sing.

Oh, Nazarine, we glorify thee!

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