Today's poem is by Paul Guest

My Nightmare

My nightmare isn't falling or even falling
naked with strangers amused
by what I try each day to hide,
this biology of strangeness,
no, my nightmare isn't forgetting
my pants because that sounds
suspiciously like fun
or at least some sort of joyful malfeasance
orchestrated in rain
while dogs bark manic interrogations
in the night and buckshot
rings through the dark
and I'm singing your name
to some randomly selected forgotten god.
To be distracted by pleasure
isn't my nightmare
but it once was before
all the cartilage inside us
hardened to bone
and I marveled at your one ear
you never allowed
anyone to kiss, not even me,
and maybe that was
a kind of nightmare,
that refusal. No one ever warned me
to fear my hands
but they should have
known the things they would do
or not do. The knobs turned and knots undone
because there is
pleasure in erasure.
Once you let me watch you
bathe, the tub sudded
with lilac soap
and we hardly said a word
as the water cooled
and the soap fell
away from your skin like a shoal of clouds
and you were new
and unknowably clean
and beside you I failed
to dream of anything else.

Copyright © 2007 Paul Guest All rights reserved
from Redivider
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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