from New and Selected Poems, 1981-2013, Nola Perez.
“Write your dreams,” Carolyn Kizer told us in her poetry workshop in Paris. I would like to, Yes, follow that course, but on wee-hour trips, (no pun intended), to the sale de bain I describe as the patter of little feet. I sit dazed, drowned in the riptide of the sandman. Swim sideways, it is said, and do not panic.
My beta Beau, (for beautiful), in his glass bowl has no such problem. He lays on an artificial leaf fastened by suction cup at the edge of the tank where he hangs, calm and motionless. I’m trapped in a dream where I am the hostess in a house I do not know, pouring champagne into crystal flutes. Among the guests, lovers from the past are accompanied by their current amours. Only one embraced me with his old sexual hunger, (but didn’t leave his telephone number).
In the dream I walked at the back of the house into a spacious yard, which became the ocean, its waves breaking at the brink of an open door. “If this were my dream”, said Terri, our leader in a dream-work class, “I would…” maybe, Say, the commonplace can bespeak peril?
I press my palms against my eyes to shut out the light, and then I rise, reluctantly, from the corridors of night to go feed my fish who bolts from sleep, swims to me when I press my face against his bowl, and say, Good morning, Gorgeous. You, of the dreams of open streams–your dream that spins fins.