The Apocalypse Involves Elevators

I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately about vicious, apocalyptic games. Not sure what that says about me.

 

It’s a game, but it’s

A cruel one, the dead

Paraded in front of us

At every opportunity

To describe their mistakes

To still-valid players.

An elevator rises

With six maimed bodies,

Speaking the horrors that tell us

Only the two marked safe

Are worth trying.

The backup at the bank of them is

So deep, some still risk

The questionable bays.

One safe number 4 drifts past,

Occupied with only one man,

But it doesn’t stop for us.

I leap, land on my feet

Inside, the only one

Brave, or stupid enough

To take the jump.

The man inside looks at me

Sidelong, and pulls a syringe

I fight away from him, and toss

Out the side, hundreds of feet below.

He says it was only sedative,

To ensure his safety from me.

I keep an eye on him

The whole way down,

Just to be sure.

Revel

One of those dreams that certainly had more depth to it that you’re happy not to remember.

 

We don’t plan to stay here long,

At this inn at the side of the town.

A night, maybe two, several of us

Traveling far, and needing a break.

We use the amenities, and later find

Our way to our rooms blocked,

A line of people snaked

Across the long lobby floor,

Dancing, celebrating,

All with smiles to split

Their faces.

 

The boldest of us

Finally, stops the next reveler

And she, a beautiful woman

Still dancing as she pauses,

Graciously lets the whole of us pass

Through the widening gap.

The swaying movements are

Familiar to me, and when I look

Closely, I see a trace of blood

On every white sleeve.

I know this dance, and I know

The sacrifice. We won’t stay here

At all, tonight.

End

This was possibly both the longest and the worst dream I’ve ever had.

 

I spend a full

Week

In this apocalypse.

They say, at the end, there will be normalcy

But

We’ve already looted the paintings from

The walls of our favorite places,

Already shopped the markets of all

Our old things, needing to travel light.

A friend brings along her dog, and when

It barks at me before sleep in this

Makeshift resting place of a hole where

A bed used to be, in a stranger’s house,

I think at first it’s one of the evil things

Come to kill us. We’re all tense

All the time, the slugs and spiders

And once, I swear, smooth-skinned

Zombies, the far-gone dogs, they all

Feed on us. The light in the sky, even,

Has dimmed. On the last day, the

Big Day, the one they’ve said will spell

The End of this, I’m with my family,

My usual group, and as we camp for the night

I can’t help using “if”s.

Despot

Sometimes my dreams are very elaborate. Sometimes they also involve fish.

 

She keeps us here,

The girl with long, tight curls

Dark, and glossy about her

Perfect porcelain face.

No more than twelve years

Old, but she sits at the head

Of all tables, and

Her cruelty sees all.

The night I plan to slip away, she

Chooses to sleep in our quarters, pulling

Thick down blankets onto our flat

Servants’ pallets. I can hardly bear to

Wait for her to dream, know

I’ll have to leave everything of mine

Behind. But, even life alone

And poor, is better than life beneath

Her thumb. I leave at midnight, and become

A fish, a small white betta that can hide

Between the ferns of the marketplace nearby.

But my pool shrinks, my scales

Blacken, until a boy with a bag of clear

Water scoops me up, and brings me back to

His mother’s house. She is

A revolutionary, and I hope enough of one

Not to send me back to my tyrant when

I reveal myself.

Academia

Every now and again dream me feels like I need another degree.

I attend college again,

A dorm student, and did I tell my

Significant other that? Either way,

I’m already entrenched –

Sit with my particular clique

At a table in an open cafeteria

That serves alcohol,

Name to myself the campus places –

The Bar, The Field, The Slammer arcade

Always “the”, wherever you go.

It’s a beautiful campus, but

The president has his eye on me

For some power, ability, or knowledge

I possess. He hovers,

Always, and my drinks

Come laced, my friends

Are sent away, my schedule is

Controlled, for where I go

And why.

Bottled

As in-between dreams go, the ones after the big sleep but before you really wake up, this one got some things fairly accurate.

 

 

I’m working from home today

But ride the bus in,

Unwilling to let my girlfriend suffer

Alone. We stay aboard until

The train stop, hidden

Between shopfronts, in this beachside

Town. Hug goodbye, and I

Make my way along the rows

Of cobblestones and hanging signs,

Try to find the bus stop for

Return. While I’m here,

I search the stores, craving smoothies or

Something light to eat. One place has

Replaced their drinks counter with

A display of small, glass bottles –

Clear, and blue, and some of them black.

The woman behind it tells me she can

Tell me what’s inside, but I

Pass on – Whatever liquid lies within,

It isn’t something I want.