In the fifteenth year of the emperor Tiberius
He hunted hives of wild bees
Breaking open the hollows of wood or bone
Seizing the sweet marrow. Quicker than grasshoppers
He crunched wing and belly.
His face gnarled under the sun.
At night he crawled under
A goatskin. The air was thin out there
The stars big as melons.
The brook for water or washing in
Or to cleanse an occasional stranger of his wickedness.
His hair matted. His dry beard
Bristled away from his jaw.
Ravens flew by sometimes. Small groups of men
He shouted to, came, bringing others.
Clearly the world couldn’t go on like this.