poem by Shaun McMichael photograph, "Rays of Hope," by Clarissa Cervantes
Beneath the beams of someone’s house,
we wondered what next while we sat
on a dirt floor. The bread had crusted,
the living water drained, and our mouths desert-dry.
Peter slept like the dead. John murmured
about graves opening their mouths
and their captives singing. We started writing
to retrace our steps. How many had He fed
with how many fish? How many days rotted
the dead man’s flesh? Night came and we knew
that we knew nothing, having walked the Way asleep.
I counted the change remaining between us,
my fingers’ quickness awakening to their former
trade from before He made a new way for me
with his feet. With a millstone standing in that Way,
I pocketed Judas’ share with my own.
Peter woke up loud and hungry as the sea.
Said we should go fish. Their old professions
called to them too, louder than John’s singing graves.
I helped them lash the rudder,
the coins laughing in my robe.
Peter steered Thomas out of the way
and pushed John into his place at the prow
to search the waves for footprints.