Noli Me Tangere
‘Noli me tangere’, he quietly said
‘Do not touch me.’
But how could I not reach out
for my Dear One?
How could I not long to hold
even the hem of his garment,
gain some measure of substance
for what I had thought was lost to me?
Around us, all was still.
Even the birds had fallen silent
in the still air of that miraculous place
as if in wonder at this marvel.
And I, overcome, reached towards him.
‘Noli me tangere’, he softly said
in caution and in love.
Neither man nor shade,
but part of both these things:
a creature between worlds,
between realms, between kingdoms,
between what has been
and what is still to come.
And I reached out to him.
But ‘noli me tangere’, he said.
And I must stay my hand
And my great longing.
And so I showed him my greatest love
as he intended, and as he already knew.
For what he already knew
was that he would never be lost to me.
And my greatest love, in knowing this,
was to let him go.
Painting of Mary Magdalene by Gheorghe Tattarescu