Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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In the Dream I Am Visiting

the big trappings of Philadelphia,
walking to a house party with my ex,
who is now dream-dating a man
named Michael Voleo I know
absolutely nothing else about.

I could flyer the city:
It’s 1 AM, do you know where your ex-girlfriend is?

Imagine this Michael, this Voleo: he is no more
than a name in a conversation, an athlete
of promises, a scholar of the constructed life.
A past like impressionism. A future with her

like my past. Maybe they meet at a bookstore,
among friends, and he takes her home
to spend the star’s hours
talking and nudging shoulders on a bench.
Maybe they walk the whole of Center City
finding roses and chocolates he hides with doormen
and parking attendants.

I wonder if I could be him,
would I become him? Wishbone frame
and blood-warm heart, impulse control
and steady hand, an easy rebound
in a game of pick-up. Maybe he puts her whole world

in perspective like a bottle or a crystal globeĀ 
where the light dims into evening and the places
they are going are blanketed in snow.

In her dream that I am visiting,
there is nothing stopping me from taking
to the sky, defying the gravity
of mental calculations, reaching
troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere,
thermosphere, the thin cool shock of oxygen
dissipating, light pinwheeling
the clouds—beneath me, all beneath me now.

From this high up, the stars are too far
apart. And the snow tracks, the whole world
is snow tracks.  

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