I Didn’t Fight the Law, but it Won Anyway

Apparently deep down, despite knowing a few cops, I do not trust them any more than anyone else.


We walk through gray halls,

Damp and hard stone,

Until we come to the cell.

Already she looks affronted by the size,

A space no wider than her arms’ length,

Rectangular enough to fit a bed,

And not much else.


They ask me, the men, what she’ll need,

If there’s anything I can think of.

I’m the one outside, so I can make decisions

For her. She gives me a manic look, that

Angry fearful pleading, and makes suggestions

As if they should have been, easily,

The first things out of my mouth.

Nothing comes out of my mouth.

Because I can’t think except to think

I’ve put my girlfriend in prison.

And what she did wasn’t enough to warrant it,

But I knew the cops would do it anyway,

If I called them to help us. And now,

Even if it’s only for a month, only a day,

This will always be between us.

The next day, at work, I’m with one of the men.

It’ll be all right, he says, and I break

Everything, stones and beads and glass

Shattering apart in my hands

Before they hit the ground.


It’s depression season in my life, so this kind of dream doesn’t particularly come as a surprise.


My friend breaks down

And I

Know something about breaking, too.

Between aisles in a grocery store,

She always said, was the best place

To hide, so I follow her to the soap section,

The calming scents and the cool linoleum

Of the row just next to hers,

Where we both can cry just that little

Necessary bit.

I play a recording on my phone,

Myself talking through the depression

We’re both feeling, try to work it out but

It sounds from my mouth, as if

A tiny mic were placed right before my nose.

I have to close my lips over with my fingers,

Like rolling the windows up in a car

With the radio on, to not scare passersby.


I haven’t been remembering my dreams much lately, stress or otherwise. But then here comes this one, I guess because official graduation is coming up soon.


The director of my old

Writing program lives

In the apartment I used to own

When I studied there.

I walk the kitchen and

The halls, the chairs and furniture all

Exactly where I

Had it, back then,

Down to the curve of the seating

Around the table.

I tell her,

It’s amazing how a space speaks

The same to

Different people.


Hide and seek is always better in dreams than it is in real life, even when you suck at it.


We play a game of hide and seek

That somehow becomes a bet, my girlfriend and I

Against my friend and her boy, a whim

Turned serious. They circle outside

While we stay in the same place, crouched to the ground

And hoping they won’t come from the other side,

Where we’re plainly seen. We take no risks,

So it’s no surprise when we’re caught.

For Science

Sometimes my dreams are just weird.


It’s amazing what we’ll do

For the sake of experimentation –

Standing at the opposite side of a room,

Naked, while the tester readies her equipment,

I’ve only been told enough to feel guilty

For saying no. Her assistant takes my pulse,

High with fear that this will somehow hurt.

In the end, she only wants

To shoot glitter at me, and see if it will stick.


I have no clue who the second professor was, but that’s dreams for you.


College life

Bleeds through into the professional –

Two professors I once knew

Both ordering wedding invites for daughters

On the same day.

I bring out their files, sit down with them to proofread

As we talk about our lives, and the school.

I’d never go back, the second says.

I hadn’t realized he left.

But, there was a bear on campus again last week.

He tells me,

I’d go back for the bear.