01 April 2007

Liz's Prompt for the Week of March 25

Color-Coded Dreams

In a dream I see my sister
in a bowl of cobalt glass
filled with water,
a bowl held up
by elegant silver feet,
a coffee table adornment
were it not for the drowned body
of my sister lying inside it,
green eyes closed.
I wonder how she managed
to fit her woman's body inside,
where all her hair has gone--
shocked not to see it
fluttering down behind her
like the lustrous, elongated feathers
of some mythological raven--
why her wrinkled, ringless hands
are open, palm up, reaching
(for what?).

I dial her number
as soon as I wake up,
an electronic voice
encourages me to leave a message,
promises she'll call me back.
I have nothing to say
that I know how to put into words,
nothing but,
Let me fill your hands
with my own plump heart,

nothing but,
Let me comb your shiny black hair
with my comb of silver stars
given by a raven I met
in the last dream I had of you,
nothing but,
Let me play a game with you,
Say, say, oh playmate,
come out and play with me,
in a forest that is safe from bears
and beasts and grown men
intent on touching your silver-white skin,
just two sisters, laughing,
a canopy of pine trees
reflected in your green eyes,
the cobalt of matching quilted jumpers
reflected in mine.

Waking Up in Somebody Else's Dream

Somebody's already dreaming a heaven,
a home for people like me,
where ragged hand-me-downs are burned
for velvet robes of emerald green.
Somebody's heaven
for all those bodies
that ran twice as hard
but never reached the runner's high,
for all those hearts that ached
for true love forever
but got blisters and a broken heart,
all those minds that wound and leapt
for brilliance and perfection
but barely managed,
for those who didn't have the guts
to be a sinner
or the fortitude of a saint.
Somebody's heaven
where there are no big sisters,
no middle children, no progress reports
or evaluations,
no such thing as a tag-along,
no trading shame for knowledge.
Somebody's heaven
where you can live for the laughter
and sunlight and green grass
of Easter egg hunts,
not peeking out windows (cheating)
or counting how much,
where you can dip your finger
in the blue frosting
of a Holly Hobbie birthday cake
and not get sent to your room,
where you can love
the cellophane crinkle
and curling bow of a gift
more than the sneaking under the tree
to open carefully and re-wrap,
more than the counting how many,
more than the price tag.
Somebody's heaven
where there are no separate bedrooms,
no places off limits,
Get out!
Get out!
Get out!,
where music is together--
with dancing--
not sisters
rocking back and forth
with headphones on,
Go away!
Go away!
Go away!,

where funny is a virtue
and there's room made for silly
in your NY Times crossword puzzles,
inside jokes in your pencil drawings
of fingers, eyes, noses in spiral sketchbooks,
clowns in your coveted,
leather-bound masterpieces
of English Literature,
Be Quiet!
Be Quiet!
Be Quiet!
Somebody's heaven
where there is no more reaching,
just this falling back
into a lake of cobalt--
pretty enough--
with silver stars
in my eyes.

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