Today's poem is by Ciara Shuttleworth

Police Statement

The morning we watched Jesus,
there was no fog. For weeks,
oil was tracked up and down Great Highway's
sidewalk—a tanker spill had closed the beach

but locals continued to jog. Nobody kept watch
so we joined the rest maintaining the daily
routine, and the slicks we spilled on our carpet grew
wider when we scrubbed. Oil infiltrated

our apartment like a skunk's spray, the floor
flammable. My desire to be gone
was like hay baled too early
and I was going to combust,

take the whole building with me. Each day
the beach was a little cleaner and we sliced our tongues
a little deeper into the softest places of each other.
The running was the only good thing.

We were silent and hadn't looked at each other in days
the morning we laced our greasy shoes and jogged
the blotchy sidewalk to the dunes,
and there was Jesus, arms raised,

head thrown up in scream or smile, blessing
the water, the beach. The sun paused behind us.
I would've stayed
there all day to watch the rising light prism

his hair, how white his hospital gown billowed
to hold the fog, wind, seagull cries. I would do anything
to go back, to have done something
but I swear we thought the water would hold him.

Even when he went under
and we looked at each other
for the first time all week, we believed
he'd be on top of the next wave, still dry

and walking like he was going for coffee,
he' d walked into the tide
like a man heading across a carpet he'd set on fire
heading toward His lover's bed.

Copyright © 2017 Ciara Shuttleworth All rights reserved
from Hayden's Ferry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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