Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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Dream Cargo

Mid-morning, mid-life, freighted
                                still from a night’s dreaming,
sunrise done, pageant gone,
                                careening now toward noon and glare,
disheveled and defiled . . . 
                                a good time to say what lies ahead:
after dustfall and the body’s decrescendo,
                                after the maple’s first gleam goes flat,
there’s a burnish to Autumn
                                you learn to live for:  oblivion’s
pocket runs deep in our lives,
                                the charnel crows fly overhead.


Maybe it’s Troy we ought to think of here,
                                and the blood-cost of beauty,
the old destiny of passion and war,
                                and the windowless eyes of the ravaged.


Ever notice how slip-shod smoke is,
                                drifting, homeless, how it just curls and vanishes? 
So now think of souls in flight,
                                smoke-drift, migration, a flock
of two, you and me down the road.  
                                Lord, how we proliferate
and fade away; Lord, how piecemeal we die.


This is nowhere near the whole truth.
                                There’s another kind of dying we survive
to become a carapace,
                                a reliquary,
and one you know all too well:  I saw it,


5. Leda
your eye’s fear-flash, felt the weight
                                of the air and crush of wings
everywhere as you told me
                                your ancient story and how it
plunders you still and drops you dawn-
                                cold in bed, night in and night out.
You did not dream this story,
                                though like a dream, it lingers
long after it found you, this ravaging
                                from that famous old Greek myth.


And still the truck in my dream rolled on down
                                the road, hauling its dream cargo,
you and me, side by side, heather
                                and gorse, blossom and bruise on the lam.


Could it be dreaming’s all that’s left of prayer?
                                May our dreams then proliferate,
and drift away where we cannot
                                get at them, and savage them.
May they drift upward without us,
                                you and I, soul’s husks, hunkered down
here on this blue orphan earth, for better
                                or worse, our sapphire in the star-field.  

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