Jesus comes back like he said he would: a stand-up kind of guy, reticent to a fault but rock solid. The shy type everyone likes but no one thinks much about one way or the other, until one evening, during a storm, tooling down I-15 in his beat-up VW bug, he passes one of those awful two-car wrecks &, pulling to the shoulder, hops out, strolls past the paramedics & cops, & before they can think to stop him, kneels into all that shattered glass by the gurneys & sheets &, with a few incomprehensible words in a language nobody’s spoken in two thousand years, coaxes the dead back to life. The little kid gets back his severed leg, & all that blood on the road disappears like a bottle of trick ink. Then everyone starts waking up. Even the drunk in the Chevy, sober for once & looking sheepish as hell. Thank God, he thinks, no one was hurt. Outraged, the cops wrestle Jesus to the mud, snap on the cuffs, & toss him in the back of their squad car. But when they’re done helping the two ladies and the kid to their feet & walk back, the cuffs are on the dashboard & their black K-9 Lab retriever is curled in the guy’s lap, Jesus scratching the fellow behind the ears — something no one’s thought to do since he was a pup. Listen, you know as well as I that none of this is true, just a story I made up about the world we would like to have been born into, that world where nothing that we love has to die. But the Lab retriever I was thinking of was real: our beloved Raymond, who’s been gone now many years, though I can still see his black tail twitching happily in his sleep as he’d lie at the foot of our bed, the way he used to.