Poem for my sister on the birth of her daughter

As I was getting drunk last night
You were pacing the floor.
I, among strangers in my foreign home,
Cracked dirty jokes and opened another one
While you were cautious and quiet and waiting
Until your next contraction.
And as I put the wine away
And our guests said goodnight,
You knew the time had come.
You took a wild ride to the florescent lights,
And at the moment your life changed forever,
I was dreaming of all my teeth falling out.

(April 8, 2012)

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Dreams of Lions Mating

This morning, I dreamed I was at the zoo.

The lions were mating out in the open in their “habitat.” The crowd was standing around, mouths agape, like an illustration from a Curious George book.

I went to the side of the habitat/exhibit, and I found there was no fence. It was wide open, and the lions could come out at any time, and the people could go in, only none of them knew it.

I stood at the opening in the gate and watched as the lion bit the back of the lioness’s neck to officially begin their mating ritual.

The lions passed so close by me that I could’ve touched them, or they could’ve eaten me. But we kept our distance.

What will I do now that I know I can go into the lion’s cage …

Or let the lions out.

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carry on

I dreamed I was in love
and love compelled me to run
sixty miles to the lake
using my favorite scarf
as a cape.
Unlike other dreams
where running is slow and pained,
this time I was light
and quick,
fueled by pure joy
and the energy of being
in love.
I held my scarf
with both hands above
my head, like a victory flag
or a sail,
and I laughed the whole way.
It was quite an accomplishment.

When I told everyone how far I’d run,
they said,
“That’s nice,”
and carried on
washing the dishes.

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Dreams of an Optional Existence

We (my many selves) were in a movie that started like a dream. A swirl of paint like a Van Gogh happening in reverse, slipping from the surreal drunken starry state to the real — the this-is-a-crisis moment of reality.

There is a sense of “this can’t be happening” in real life that doesn’t exist in dreams. You know it’s a dream by your willingness to accept as reality things that cannot be.

We were under a tank like a Chinese dragon. From the inside, it was just a metal bunker, and we were hanging on to valves and chains and keeping it from floating away.

Outside, things were sliding in and out of existence at will, without warning, randomly. Until one of them wanted in. This ghost of some other self — probably one of mine — was trying to lift the tank. It was heavy and hard for us to control, but she seemed to lift it lightly like the lid to a cake dish to reveal us. With gravity on our side, we pulled down against her, and then, in a flash of light that seemed to come more from within than without, we were exposed, and she was no where to be seen.

In fear, I turned to our guide, a soft-bodied, middle-aged woman with short cropped hair and an air of expertise about hiding and escaping. It was clear she had been doing these things for many years. The funny thing, though, is that no matter how expert you are at hiding and escaping, it doesn’t reduce the fear. Fear was all over her face. We were exposed, and she couldn’t reverse it.

These little bundles flew out when we were exposed. Bits of ourselves that got knocked off by the force of the light and the wind. We scurried around to grab hold of them. Everyone found their pieces except me. The guide gave me a dreadful look. Without gathering up those pieces, I was more vulnerable than the others.

Around the camp fire, on barren rocky ground, everyone but me clung to their little bundles, which on closer inspection looked like hacky sacks and stress balls. Meaningless objects. It was implied that without my little bundle, I would be the first one picked off by these sneaky spirits, the first to fall into some alternate dimension of questionable existence. I told the others in my crew, “Don’t tell me that. I don’t wanna watch this movie if I know I’m doomed from the start.”

But now, in waking life, I wonder: what would happen if I allowed myself to be carried off by these trickster spirits? What would I see if I stepped into their dimension?

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