“In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.” G. Washington
Dreaming of things that ought to be real,
and of real things that ought to be dreams
or nightmares. There is a rhythm to it all.
A red-winged blackbird whistles, stuttering
and lyrical. The thrumming of wings hums
like a lullaby — Alula, alula, the winglet
that guides the wings as birds spiral overhead
like a fighter jet against clouds gunmetal grey.
Maple seeds twist in the air, slowly sauntering
down to earth. The muted thud of a fist studs
drywall with uneven holes, matching pounding
of bass drums in the dorm rooms. No one even
notices the holes until the next day. Parties
are all about damage, right? What’s broken,
who’s broken, where the breaking happened.
Hide under the lounge where ‘lovers’ make out,
dart away when discovered. What’s wrong?
The world’s greatest lover is something
like a virgin. It is his laughter that loves.
He sleeps, dreams, then wakes when friends
are at risk or in danger. No worries about phoning
in the middle of the night, because he’s awake
already. In my dream, I sit by his hospital bed,
comforting him. A reversal. I feed him blueberries.
I paint his walls with the colors of feathers.
In my dream he is afraid of dying, but I know he isn’t,
not really, so all I need to do is remind him. Reboot
isn’t just for robots. Let’s restart the heart,
remind it of rhythms that wind into waltzing,
even as eyes leak. Hold the hand of love that leaves.