The Whale

Frankie has bad dreams
of dark things that have no edges
like blackened shower nozzles
of mold and mildew;
a closet in an empty house
where someone sways;
tall windows with peeling paint
the color of old teeth,
chewing on memories
of a fury sunrise.

She wonders why
these things haunt her,
as she trembles in the
rings of my eyes.
Maybe she’s a
dreamcatcher
for nightmares,
the kind that lurk behind
closed doors in rooms
made by men in a hurry.

Perhaps Frankie sees mine,
and takes them away.
Beneath the ocean
she becomes a whale,
and carries my nightmares
to waters at the edge
of the Earth,
where no boats are allowed,
and whales rarely swim.

Maybe that is why
she wakes up crying.

A Disappointing Party

We wear funny hats
and shoes
at the paned window
as we look out across the lawn
in twilight’s spell.
This is your club
and your friends.
I am a guest,
the last one to choose
the shoes from in the trunk
that don’t match.
They’re the wrong
color,
and too big
for my feet.
The hat is felt
with soft lines that
sit on my head
like a lizard
curling on a rock
in the sun.
But there is only lamplight
at your party.
There’s also a record player
that skips.
I can feel your presence
behind me,
pausing in the doorway.
As I turn,
so do you,
and our gazes
never meet.
Why don’t you say anything?
You have always been
disappointing.