Last night I had a nightmare. I might re-create the conditions – too much coffee too near to bedtime, freshly laundered sheets smelling of lemon verbena – if it meant another poem scrawled through gummy eyes by bathroom light.
The windstorm that is your breath in my ear
when I’ve woken from a nightmare.
On my back, clammy with fear, your body
circles mine like two links of chain;
heavy limbs wound tight as sheets I
might’ve drenched if the dream had
been allowed to run its course.
Instead I stir fevered from bed, eyes
peeled as grapes or slivers of tape, hoping
to stay awake long enough to avoid going
down that dark stair into someone else’s
I haven’t written poetry seriously in years. My mother keeps a book of it I wrote in junior high school, a single dumb verse to a page, and I think it’s best that’s as near as she comes to my imagination.