Clare’s Dream

In this dream police burst into our flat, soaked with rain.
They look miserable-- tired, wet and old with ruffled plastic stretched
around their hats, two large men, six-foot-three or so, one fat, the other muscular and lean. Water runs down the bridge of his boxer’s nose.
“There’s been a jailbreak folks, nearby. Jesus is on the loose.”
“Jesus? Jesus!” my husband manages to say.
“Do you want some coffee?” I ask. They are really wet.
“Jesus, sir. Broke out this morning. Haven’t seen Him, have you?”
“We don’t even go to church,” my husband stammers.
“Best to keep the doors locked anyway,” the fat policeman says, refusing cookies
I offer, patting his stomach. Lean cop takes two.
They drink hot mugs of Morning Fog Lifter. It’s nice. They look like my dead
father, tell funny stories about cops
and criminals. They knew Meyer Lansky in New York, one of them met Bugsy Siegel once.
We drink coffee and warm our hands. Radio comes on. We are trapped in a silly
movie, except it’s Jesus
on the loose and we are really terrified.
No locks can hold Him. Bullets can’t harm him, not even silver ones, and I doubt He’d
be frightened of a cross.
“Don’t go outside,” says the radio voice. “Jesus has escaped and may be in your neighborhood.” I sob, my husband puts his arm around me.
No, he sobs, I put my arm around him.
Jesus is here, cops transfigured into doves, lean one swirling wildly
near the ceiling, whole room smells like cookies baking. Fat dove eats and is full.
Black rain flies back up into the sky.
We are dancing on the rims of our coffee mugs, we are embraced by steam.
Jesus sits on the kitchen table.
He is quiet a long time looking at France, The Beautiful Cookbook.
“There is too much butter in the soufflé recipe,” He says. “I’d cut the amount in half.”
“Ahhh,” I say. Suddenly it all makes sense.
He is gone and we are eating golden-crowned soufflé
listening to music of doves and rain rising from our warm mugs in thin braids of steam.

Steve Klepetar

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