In Every Direction
As if you actually died in that dream and woke up dead. Shadows of untangling vines tumble toward the ceiling. A delicate lizard sits on your shoulder, its eyes blinking in every direction. And when you lean forward and present your hands to the basin of water, and glimpse the glass face that is reflected there, it seems perfectly at home beneath the surface, about as unnatural as nature forcing everyone to face the music with so much left to do, with everything that could be done better tomorrow, to dance the slow shuffle of decay. Only one season becoming another, continents traveling the skyway, the grass breathing. And townspeople, victims, murderers, the gold-colored straw and barbed-wire hair of the world wafting over the furrows, the slashed roads to the door of your office or into the living room. The towel is warm and cool, soft to the touch, but in another dream altogether a screen door creaks open, slams shut, and across the valley a car's headlights swing up and over. And maybe you are the driver with both hands on the wheel, humming a tune nobody's ever heard before, or maybe the woman on the edge of the porch, grown quiet from fleeing, tough as nails.
From Neither World, published by Miami University Press. Copyright © 1995 by Ralph Angel. All rights reserved. Used with permission.