Night Vision

The pill that tastes like mint
melts under my tongue,
and I am fearful
of what’s to come.

I close my eyes
and my lids flutter
as I dream
of impossible things
that are too real
to be fiction.

I hear the rumble
of granite boulders
rolling as lemmings
through a field of
yellow flowers,
wearing ugly smirks
that bring me
to my knees
as I watch a little girl
who is about to
be crushed.

I die on a rooftop
in a leather jacket
and black boots.
I wake on the same roof
in the snow
many years in the future.
Beyond the evergreen forest
and sloping hills,
is a frozen tsunami wave
cresting so high
it nearly touches the sun.

And then I awaken,
my eyes bleary
and head filled with dreams
of what dark worlds
may come.

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
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.


Neither here or there, there are places that exist without vocabulary, tucked in the folds of space and time, hanging like prisms on a chandelier, turning in the afternoon sunlight, making rainbows on satin sheen walls.

Rainbows are curious things. They need to be pointed out. “Look! There’s a rainbow!” But then, impossible to ignore, their faces turn to stare.

“Do you see me?” he asks without moving his lips, the yellow dog at his side in the cab of the truck.

You nod and cough. The dust is in your eyes. “Yes, I do. And you?”

“Of course.” She hesitates, studying your reflection in the bathroom mirror, pausing as she brushes her black hair. “Have I met you before?”

“No, I don’t think so.” You look down at your purple satin skirt and white gloved hands. “Are we dreaming?”

“Perhaps. Yes, I believe we are,” says the man in the boat who will not meet your eyes.

“Wake up!” you cry, wanting to shake him.

“You first,” says your mother who sits in a recliner and is long dead.

And then you do wake up, but not before you see the naked girl treading water in a pink ocean, the man inside the little car that zooms through what was once subway tunnel, and the father who wears orange marigolds in his hair as he shows you drawings of a church near his childhood home.

You see these things and so much more. But of course you tell no one, for you cannot make sense of what you’ve glimpsed. These places are alien, and the laws, though familiar, are not tidy like our own.

These worlds, these dreams, these faces, these are the things you lock away.