A Netflix Romance

Clearly I’ve been watching too many of these.

 

I wish these two boys would stop

Fighting over me, because

We are meant to be catching pike

In the mud-brown shallows,

Their bodies long and twisting

Just past my feet, using only

Our hands. I’ve seen several now,

But I know they have teeth, and I don’t

Want to catch one improperly.

I keep watching for them as the two men

Go on about their relative merits,

The sun finally catching the surface

In such a way that seeing anything below

Becomes hopeless. I wade away to shore,

Tell my friend, “One day I’ll tell

These boys I’m gay.” She looks at me,

Scandalized, but

I can’t remember either of their names.

 

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To Care for Fish

It’s been a long time since I’ve had fish, and if my dream mind is any indication, maybe that’s a good thing.

 

I can’t find

The two betta fish

We took in, in our kitchen.

I ask my mother where she’s put them,

Check the freezer, hoping they aren’t there,

Check the fridge, hoping they are.

Finally I find

The both of them, red bodies stranded

In a container of evaporated water

And sand.

Mating Season

Sometimes I don’t know what my mind gets up to while I sleep or why.

 

It turns out that the inner portion of this

Carnival fun house that’s popped up on campus is

A set of rooms filled with eligible

Aliens,

Hoping to mate.

They look human enough, except

When you stare too long

At their eyes, and the wider pull

Of their smiles across their teeth.

I tell my friend we’ll just go through,

Forge ahead and not get caught up, but

When the next room opens onto

A harem of dozens of females, I

Back us up instead.

We take the long way out,

Slipping out windows and dropping

From roof to lower roof,

Until we reach solid ground.

School Still

I honestly don’t even remember having first day of school dreams when I was actually in school.

 

When I arrive one hour late

To the garden full of friends where

My first class is held,

I tell the instructor that

I had misread my schedule.

Really, though, while

Walking through campus with

My parents and cat, I’d thought,

Why do I still need to take

Classes? It’s so much work,

And it’s been years

Since writing essays each week

Has been a part of my life.

Five Is Too Many

My fiancee and I more or less have the saying that five cats is too many cats to have. Sometimes dream me has trouble remembering that one.

 

There’s a cat for sale across the street.

I avoid picking it up

Successfully, but

We watch from the windows of our shop

As a mother

And her young daughter

Take it, collar it,

And begin to drag it down the sidewalk

So that it scrapes over every rock

And dirty edge, nearly choking.

When I come back

We have five cats.

 

Old Things

This is likely inspired by real events. There is still a lot of my crap in my childhood room.

 

You have to get through the water

To get to the basement,

Shin-height wading over round rocks

That trip you, if you aren’t careful.

But today is a day for cleaning.

I shake out my shoes, pick up a box

Of stuffed animals and miscellanea,

Dump it out and begin to sort.

At the bottom, I rip apart

A project for the photos, before I see

It’s a photo album, a sunny festival

And me in a carriage and dress

I don’t remember ever touching.

My mom says she remembers that,

An annual thing I went to when

My skin was smoother, and my smile

More ready.

 

Other Beaches

Been a while again, but at least this one wasn’t horrifying. More just depressing.

 

We drive by a beach with

White sand, soft waves

And dolphins,

Grey-backed and leaping to show

Smooth, sunset-pink

Stomachs.

Every second there are

More of them,

Crowding the shore where

People swim, take pictures.

We pass this stretch of highway

Multiple times, but

No one in the car seems to want

To go there, but me.