Today's poem is by Lynne Knight
There was a man whose dreams I could have listened to
forever. A mermaid swished the black sheen of her scales
against his legs. There was no water anywhere. She swam
the currents just above the forest floor, singing so low it
slept him. He woke in a graveyard, his legs under
ground. Leaves swam at his throat. Exposed on his chest,
in exactly the place where the heart would be, was his
heart. Beside it, a notebook. He wrote until his hand hurt.
He brought no words back except those I have told you.
The next night he sought an amulet. He walked through
blue smoke to a snake charmer. Waited for the music to
twist into silence. I am come for protection, he said. Am
come: that troubled him even there, in the dream. But the
snake charmer laughed, his mouth opening into a soft
suitcase. In place of a tongue and teeth were rubies,
bright as new blood. But my friend could not reach for
them. He was too afraid for his hand.
I could have listened forever. But before long the dreams
were too much for him, he took pills to absorb them.
That's when I began lying awake, thinking of heads full
of dreams, on satin pillows, airplane pillows, sleeves.
Pavement. Heads you have lain beside. How quickly they
are lost to you. Like days you have lived but have no
recollection of, none at all, though there was wind at
your legs, blood in its circuit, maybe a sigh as you lay
your head down.
Copyright © 2016 Lynne Knight All rights reserved
from The Persistence of Longing
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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