Never get a husband. They never will make cheese plates without a fuss. Get a dog with thumbs. Sometimes when my husband does the dishes, I rampage. I rampage when for some reason the glasses look dirtier than before a washing or I remember a loneliness. I shape that loneliness into a broom. I use it to sweep away happiness, a state that quite often can lead to complacency, and also to fly off the broom’s handle inside me. We maybe all are holograms, a reputable scientific journal proclaims, and I tell the husband so after dinner. But why does this particular projection have small consciousness that wishes to sit in a straight-backed chair and recall reciting “Friends, Romans, countrymen” in high school and this little hologram goes to market and this little hologram hits zero stoplights all the way home? Also, as a projection, I wonder at my own need to touch. Is light drawn to light? Desire light? Why should this little light become inconsolable over the silliest— Oh, why is there so much of me in me? Maybe this is easy science: Each hologram an imagining light thought to construct, in which one furry projection drinks from the toilet, one projection sprouts leaves that fall annually and never improves at leaf-retention, and my husband— an invisible who may not exist in the kitchen behind me if it weren’t for his singing.
The Dream and a Shame
I was an observer: my own student
and my best teacher
in the forest working the lyrics together.
There were bees in his beard,
in a good way.
She cupped his chin: this
was platonic and also the source
of some honey. He fed her
two lines he had kept inside his soul
for years. I woke to write them and could
only remember alone.
He left and she
grabbed a banjo from a tree—
completed the song and bettered
it, besides. Something like “The Passionate Shepherd”
but blue, which the Impressionists
knew to put a touch of in every shadow.
Cut to: the sprung-open backs of a dozen watches.
I didn’t fix the hands of clocks I could have moved.
The bells and cuckoo birds,
the dancing German ladies
with their aprons and their steins
throughout the day. And anyway,
I’ve learned naught if I haven’t learned not
to tell anyone when he or she
has appeared in a dream—
he or she never takes it the right way.
It does all sound unseemly, I admit—especially the horse, which I’ll get to.
Though I do want to ask—I guess
it’s less of a question, more of a comment—
if the song or the honey skips
a generation, the same as twins
or a quick temper?
Before the dream I was thinking of the horse
who bit the cowboy so you could see straight
through to his skull.
The horse that won’t be broken isn’t a romantic
story—it’s a shame and ends
with the horse hurting
a human then being put down.
Damned if I don’t worry that the horse is a mirror,
like the trainer says. Damned if I’m too afraid to push myself
out even so far as my own dream.
I only have two tools:
attention and inattention.
just for show.
But credit where it’s due:
that banjo in the tree was a nice touch, subconscious,
a real lucky break.