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I’m not sure about the movie, as I’m dreaming now

in daytime. I’m breaking off from television, its delivery

of savings and promises. And I can’t help but wonder

how many tidal waves we’ve bundled into bottled water

while pretending everything can be easier. But dreaming

as an offshoot of sleep is secondary anyhow. As in,

it almost never happens, this happenstance and circum-

stance of late-night dinners and various levels of exhaustion.

No, I never even dream. In thoughts I see the world

in pictures, imagery, a National Geographic photograph

you need to double-check and see if it is real, there’s

something about things so vivid that can be fleeting.

This is why I wonder at your music, in any dance—

that one where the man just after thirteen drinks

swaggers past the jukebox and out the door, a woman

somewhere follows with her eyes or red high-heeled

shoes, her ambition, there are silk-screen visions

of uncertain fortunes reassessed after frequent striking

scrawled across his back. A billboard for impermanence

he shows to those who believe. They flick a lighter, flick

a light against the bathroom stall, the glamour you

reaffirm must reside beneath replacement yellow blood,

yellow skin, these flakes and cracks of antiquity

in the meantime, this paint you choose for agony,

or as a stand-in for your breath. This is how I dream.

I live and sleep and wake in sweet dissolving daylight,

reminisce at the times you might answer me

with a look, a hope there are buildings that remind you

of alternatives, sure that hurricanes fill canals and then

the bloodstreams. From any distance long enough, even

the world breaking into halves can be an omen

of impending growth. Like muscles break and grow,

or stalks from palm leaves surrender to gravity, float

on air and then the sea. There are the evenings

I cannot close one eye, but watch you as you taste

and then re-taste, devour insistence until it’s spent

like wishes, the breaths you recollect. A tee shirt scrawl

you pick up and head for exits, a souvenir you might

prove yourself alive with. It says, I had sex with Jean-Michel

and all I got was this stupid tee shirt. Days later

you might revise yourself again, black marker

against the fabric. I had sex with Jean-Michel

and all I got was gonorrhea. You wear it everywhere

in Manhattan, share it with those you’re closest to,

the ones that can really follow. I dream in pictures,

you live your life like tee shirt shops, each day a slogan

you forget until there’s someone staring at your boobs.

later in the afternoon. In night, we are a set of bedroom

sculptures, your shirt cast onto the floor, my eyes

are never closing. You whisper in your dreams

and my words become so slight, it’s no wonder

you cannot hear. Me? I cannot bear the television

distractions as your skin sticks against these sheets,

reminds everyone there is no clean laundry. Tomorrows

for me are sets of images waiting to find the words

each of us exhales and reimagines, gets up and tries to paint.

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