Upon Waking

Curled up against big pillows
I turned the light out at eight
and slept off a headache, woke
not remembering a thing
like night amnesia
a man without a coat making coffee
stepped outside to sniff the frost
observing the pastels of morning
stacks of anthologies at my side
so many poems about the dead
about the past
about drowned children and city streets
I heard the rooster’s cry disorienting
in the cold thinking for a moment
I could be in a tropical backyard
far far from here
rising to the warm breeze of palms
fisherman at the pier long gone
for a day’s honest work
the horizon flatlining in the distance
over St. Thomas

In the dream
I was on a plane
The pilot was talking
and then he wasn’t and we were falling
No longer right side up or horizontal
I remember just wanting to be horizontal
It was the most horrible sensation
and so very quiet
There were two long beats of wondering
Was this it
Were we crashing
What did the plane look like in the air
What would it feel like
And then he came back on
and leveled us out
Later he apologized profusely
for being so tired

Often I feel the crash
of so many places existing at once
middle-class blues
and love affairs gone bad
cold November trees and the last migrations
to all points south
and it is then that I remember
a dream
without evidence
only the small imprints of sensation
pulsing slowly one
through my waking body
and I wonder where the poems go
where the dreams live when they’re finished
with us
milk steam vapor mist on the fading grass
lands far away we tuck into our pockets
or embed in neurons speeding
like stars through the blur
between consciousness
and sleep

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