A dream, one of a series: a picnic table
weathered to gray, marmalade and relish
between concrete slab and dry-rot roof.
You’re next to me, still with lashes
like the dipping afterfeather
of a peacock’s quill, less its iridescence,
eyes like afternoon, like looking out
from cloudless crest to lake below.
When we met I was eight
and thought no boy with eyes like yours
could possibly be cruel. But I’ve only really
found you kind while dreaming;
only after years of dreaming are we friends.
Now I’m thirty-five and, dreaming, you’ve returned
from Africa (in the last, you said
you were to go) but all you have
to talk about is me.
When you kiss me, my mind blooms
in shades of lavender, skull
wreathed in strokes half glyph, half flame —
all I can do is run until it fades.