It needs a strong will, and patience, to hold
the dream inside the body while the mind
imprints itself with icons of bright smoke,
and an arm reaches for pen, paper.
Uncaught, the dream vanishes—a wave-spill’s
glint of moon eclipsed by cloud.
A dream saved is this glass of water
which lights a piecemeal, bizarre version of a room,
encrypts and reverses a text in progress,
swells, presses flat, these clasping fingers.
As the day warms, the glass collects dust,
fresh shadows, kaleidoscopes gold air.
You sip from it, drinking the room, the dream:
here and now and then; nowhere, never.
3 A.M. Waking
After typing, and getting snacks, and eyeing
the slew of drafts on my bed, I slip back in,
numbed by fatigue, my bones feeling
the drilled-out years of walking the line.
First: Dickinson’s ‘The last night that she lived',
Eavan Boland’s ‘I Remember’,
and, by Mary Oliver, ‘Wild Geese’.
Then I start this, propped high so the pen
won't falter, but sliding slowly
under the counterpane of poems
as words come fast.
The ink stops. I hear the birds—
Never give up: sing to mark your space,
establish your life's domain—the tone piquant,
a gold spoon tapping on crystal.