would have married the girl and had children
and been less overt with his teachings
of peace and love too radical
for a world immersed in their opposite.
He would then not have changed the world, perhaps,
but only lived in contrast
to that power popular among those who needed it
and effective in keeping those averse to it quiet.
If he had married the girl, the world would probably have ended up
pretty much how it has anyway, but he might have had a different ending.
Grown old, had his cronies over to talk about the good old days,
converted water into wine and served them loaves and fishes.
Mary Magdalene would have danced for them in their memories,
and all of his grandchildren would have listened in awe
to hear the tales of how he walked on the water,
bade Lazarus to rise from the grave.
He would shush his cronies as they started in
with tales of how he smashed the souvenir stands
and threw the money changers out of the temple.
Not stories for young ears not quite ready to learn revolution.
And all of the ill done in his name might have happened anyway,
but at least he would have had a good life. Would have suffered less.
And some other savior might have found a way to save the world
that would have worked.