Tag Archives: poems

A Building’s Secrets

One of the first dreams I’ve had featuring coworkers.

 

My coworker told me once

There were things happening

Above her room here, secret

Meetings with words that

Meant bad things for us.

She’s gone now, mysteriously,

So I rather have to believe her.

The first chance I get, I

Break away from a group of us

To explore, the building where we

Work and live so giant that

You would hardly notice

Whole floors have been cut off.

I make my way through cobwebbed

Movie theaters, abandoned

Staircases, narrow rafters, searching

For the place where her room

Matches vertically to one of these.

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Deer

Not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind if this dream were real.

 

We traipse through the underbrush of

An old golf course, not particularly

Popular at any point because

It follows, narrowly, the bend of a river

That curves just beside the road.

Even without a ball to keep track of, we

Have trouble picking our way over

Fallen branches, and places where

The river has broken through

To create deep pools. But everywhere

We look, we see deer, small fawns and

Large does, their coats a dusty brown.

I come up to a group of them, two

So curious in me that they

Step closer, stretch their noses

To touch my shoulder, nuzzle my hand.

I am sure that somewhere I heard

You should not pet deer, but

With such open invitations,

I can’t help but stroke my fingers

Into their short fur.

A Cycle

This dream was more disturbing than most.

 

She surprises herself

With being deferential to a man,

Something she’s never done

Before. It gives her a kind of

Thrill, to hear how ladylike

It makes her seem, how it feels

That he is the only one to ever coax

This side of her out.

But then

Years later

She looks in their mirror, and sees

A sweet girl, in a pretty red dress,

With pretty long lashes

And a pretty, soft smile

She doesn’t recognize.

She calls her friends, crying,

To save her, and they tell her

She’s done this before –

Tried to leave him

Before.

She has no memory

Of anything, the screaming

And punching and kicking

Driving them out, so that

The cycle can only continue.

Still, she says,

This time she is

Determined to make it

Stick.

To Catch a Thief

Sometimes my dreams are just set-ups for trope-filled movies.

 

A man snatches my purse

As I’m shoving through a crowded street.

I try to follow him, but

Another thief strikes another woman, and

It becomes chaos.

Over the massing heads, I see

The second man dart into a building, and hope

My thief will have gone in there too.

But, when I enter, he’s nowhere to be found,

The room filled with only posh

Older gentlemen, including the one

I followed here, auctioning off

What they have taken.

I go up to the man, tell him

I will buy the purse he’s offering

If he’ll help me catch the person

Who stole mine.

Mute

Sometimes this feels like my waking life, too.

 

As if it isn’t enough

That the files came back with

Whole sections to rewrite,

Along with the first-round files

I already have, my computer

Is playing music videos my

Coworker hates, and I can’t

Find the mute button.

She grows increasingly upset,

So I do too –

Tear apart my desk, shift the monitor,

Turn it in every way and still

Nothing that would cancel

The annoyance.

Finally my parents visit, and I ask

My dad, the tech guy, how

One manages to mute a thing.

He says it’s easy, everyone

Knows how to do it, and I say

I’ve been crying because

I don’t. That’s when

He adds, you need to go across

The fields behind our desks,

All the way to where the wires

Eventually lead. He mutes it,

But with such an obscure fix,

I feel cheated.

Cheats

There’s nothing like a dream video game cheat.

 

They race through the game,

Two girls who have teamed up

For the moment, in preparation

For the final boss. But just as they reach

That last level, one

Splits away, takes out a knife, and

Slashes the other to ribbons.

She darts ahead, to meet

Her real friend, a prettier girl with

Long curled hair, already standing

In the final fields. They’ve done this

Over and over, with any competitor,

And that’s why

This girl will

Always win.

Late Night Market

If it had been in the city, it would have been open until 4am.

 

It’s past ten o’clock

And this farmer’s market

That’s sprung up

On the main road of this small town

Is closing,

The pastry vendors,

Pizza makers,

Rice-bowl fillers

All shutting their shutters,

Tossing their leftover ingredients.

I wander, find

One or two still open,

But by the time I choose

What I want, they’re

Gone too.

I resign myself to sleeping hungry,

Wake the next morning

To find the stalls vanished,

The market not open

On Sundays.