Not Enough Dream

Holding on to dreams, holding on in a dream, and the question of how we are dreaming.

I used to have a friend who would ask, in all seriousness,

How are you dreaming? like that was something anybody

necessarily did. Like being made to dream meant you could.

It felt like he was asking after a dead friend.

I envied the time he had for these questions.

If not for the alarms, I might have had better answers. 

If not for the constant interruptions to the dreams I meant to live inside, 

I might have had better answers.  Not enough, I would say, 

but I remember one now.

In the dream there are two small eggs in a nest in one hand.

The other hand holds on tight to a bar above a narrow ledge.

Toes curling, too; I wait on that ledge between What and Never.

What and what? Who knows,

––eggs, nest, birds. Some imminent fall or drop implied,

I hold on. What’s next, death? An eagle? Rescue?

I wait, my grip slipping while my wrapped hand sweats.

Who else is watching these eggs? I want to know. 

No answer comes, and I am still waiting, but that

was the end of the dream.  

Still, the same answer applied to his original question,

and it was still not enough, and I was still envious of the

way that someone could take it for granted that they

might follow such visions to whatever dream message

they were aiming for before the alarm shot them, 

execution-style, as we all lined up, backs against the concrete

wall and the relentless clock above us, holding 

for the start of the next day, our tentative beginnings and

the open-air eggs we were forever trying to protect.

Before the Storm

Drunk on abundance, they weren’t ready to accept any limits. They had no practice. It was not as though there was a choice to be made, though later it would be framed as though there had been.

“Eclairs lointains” by jmbaud74 on flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivs 2.0 Generic License

Consider one beginning, how above the blue carpet of a grandmother’s living room, there had been a painting of a small boat in a storm, against a dark sky. 

Below this, on a stand, an oversized bible, the pages slightly gilded at the edges; what it meant to wonder, in this place, on a summer afternoon, back against the blue carpet, how it was that anything at all had started, how from this wonder a body might get up and walk to the book on display, turning to the beginning, and puzzling over the words, in awe of the poet’s certainty.

Only words and nothing else until a command came, and then it was Light,  and after that, the seas and the forests and the beasts and a man and after him, it is said, from a bone taken from the center of his breathing, a woman; consider learning, how she met him in the garden; consider wondering how they knew how to play, and imagining the horror of living ever after, dying to know it again, after they beheld in the center of the garden, the tree of the knowledge the limits of what they could know. Drunk on abundance, they weren’t ready to accept any limits. They had no practice. It was not as though there was a choice to be made, though later it would be framed as though there had been. In the beginning, knowing nothing but abundance, how can anyone look away when the very source is given, to taste? 

They say she bit first. Of course, she would have been the one among the branches, gathering fruit. Later she would be painted as a sinner, but how could she be anything but a child in these original days? Here, someone whispers: serpent, man, or God––in the beginning, does it matter, or is this a moment when it is possible to imagine a single hope, constant as a pulse? How it whispers, like the rustle of leaves at the edge of a branch at late afternoon, “Stay.”