Dream Poem #1

A room. A bed. A TV. A VHS tape. A father.
The scene I am waiting for is coming up,
only he shows up as three knocks, three men.
“There is a girl hanging in the foyer,” he says.

So back to a wallpapered windowless bedroom, floral and pink.
A twin bed, a comforter, a box TV in the corner.
A homemade VHS tape, a father and a daughter.
The important scene is coming up, I know this.
But he interrupts again, announcing himself as three.
Three knocks, three men.
“There’s a girl hanging in the foyer,” he says.

And again, back to the windowless bedroom, girly pink and floral
The twin bed with the while frilly comforter, the box TV in the corner.
The VHS tape of the father and the daughter who is not really a daughter
The important scene is coming up, but I won’t be able to see it, I know this.
Before he can interrupt, before he can present himself as three knocks,
I open the door. But he still shows himself as three men.
I know what he will say, he knows I know what he will say,
but he says it anyway. “There’s a girl hanging in the foyer.”

This time I leave the windowless, girly pink and floral bedroom,
the bed, the TV, the VHS tape of father and daughter who is not a daughter,
I leave behind the scene I must see but will never see. I know this.

The foyer is a tower, circular and ceilingless.
A rope hangs down from nowhere and a body
spins slowly one way, then the other. A spiral staircase.
I run a thousand steps just to make it five feet above where I started.
Around and around and around; I am dizzy sick when I reach her,
but the staircase rails are tall as prison bars.
My arms and legs are just long enough to claw her towards me.
The noose around her neck slackens.
The room, the bed, the TV, the VHS tape, the father, the man of three,
they have all disappeared, have left me here with no options,
my arms and legs wrapped around some lifeless girl I don’t even know.

The Dark and Quiet of the Night

Have you ever stood in one spot,
all through the dark and quiet of the night?
It is impossible not to sway.

If you ever attempt this, I suggest you do it at the foot of a bed,
particularly one your father is snoring in.
The snoring will help keep you awake and also remind you
that your standing in one spot is of no consequence to him.
It will fuel your ability to stay alert. It also helps
if your sister is sleeping there, too. You can watch her peaceful face
think of how she is not sad for you, in fact has forgotten you altogether,
that your having to stand in one spot of no consequence to her, either.
Although there is the possibility she could be glad

The most critical part is to ensure you have a watcher. Someone who watches your eyes very carefully, so that blinks don’t last longer than a blink.
You will learn how to time how long you can keep your eyelids closed before
anything firm and hard, with a long reach, reminds you of your task to stay awake.

The watcher must be equally determined
to remain alert through the dark and quiet of the night.
It helps if they are eager, anxious for every sway, every slump of the head,
actions that warrant more than the single hit of a too-long blink.
Those actions require two, eleven, five, the actual number does not matter, except that it be more than one and enough to reinvigorate the watcher
to continue their watching duties.

The sleeping father and sister help in one more way,
for you mustn’t cause them to stir or wake them
with yelps or crying. If you must cry, cry silently, so the watcher can’t see. But I strongly advise against it because crying is typically accompanied with snot and sniffling, which alerts the watcher to the fact that you are crying,
which also warrants more than a too long blink
Plus red, tearful eyes will make you feel more tired than you are.

Paramount to all of this, though, is having a good reason for standing in one spot all through the dark and quiet of the night.
A lesson, perhaps. A nightgown and one lone button near the nape of neck.
It is not natural, is in fact a sign of cowardice if one does not ask for help of one smarter and more capable.

Maybe you already have learned this, or
maybe you are one who is smarter and more capable, in which case
you must find your own reason to stand in one spot
all through the quiet and dark of the night.

Mulberry Tree

You tower here, leaning over my wall of memory.
Years after I knew sadness, years before I knew sex, I tasted and felt your berries
between my fingertips.  The corners of my mouth,
my palms, I bled your purple stains.
That girl who knew you for a single summer day
is now more wrinkled than you; I live so quickly.
Did the path of my youthful hands and feet
etch themselves into your rings of life?
You, rooted, with deep black berries that tasted of happiness,
(though I didn’t know it then)
did you know how rootless I was, did you know
how I only had sad things to anchor to?

 

Blindness

The floor was cold and hard and I,
trapped under weight three times its own, could only do one thing:
eyelids, clenched tight as fists.
But sounds, my ears were helpless against that.
The fumbling of fabric moving from covering to uncovering,
zippers traversing from closed to open.
Even air made sound in that short distance between his mouth and my mouth,
his mouth and my neck,
his mouth and my chest.
His mouth.
That smell.
Every exhale stale with cigarettes and coffee and sweat,
every exhale accompanied by a grunt, a grope, a gouge of elbows or knees or
a yank of hair interlaced between fingers and so,
just a memory. Of sounds and smells and touch.
But sight? No, I didn’t see.
I refused to give sight to this story.