Doused

A V of black
birds moves across
the sky, the bus
is late again. Her stomach
aches from testing
all those body mist
testers—one scent
is too much
for her. Any bird alone
must be lost
she thinks. When she wants
to hide, she goes
to sleep. Figments find her
face up ready
to receive an aroma
therapy of dreams.

Pricked by Blue Flowers

Wears out
a pen is
a good sign
was something
she wrote
in a journal
30 years ago
to dig herself
out is still
a message
she can use
to get
your attention
off those dreams
onto hers.

The Smooth Mellow Pack

The color orange engulfs her
in hazy dreams—appears as a sheer
shawl to web her shoulders,

a pair of lace-up long boots
to hug her calves. It’s not the color
she has to relinquish

upon waking. Just the fog
that presses it down, packs it tight
against her chest.

Mississippi Burden

Release me
from these lucid dreams. The more
I try to control the mind
toward a reencounter with you in a garden
level coffee bar, the less 

I know about sleeping
flowers on this bluff
overlooking the confluence
of two rivers. What gets tended
in the dark could grow 

into more than what I believe, a grace
over dogma rising
from sandy soil. I am carrying fear 

in a basket my ancestral women transported
with time on their heads, by turns, to reach the big 

river, to spill
the contents into turbulent waters, 

to no longer believe in
the terror of the flood, the promise
of drought. So far, I am not 

balancing it
on my head, but on my left hip
below the heart. I’m still hoping
you’ll catch my right
to pull me into your current, to take everything 

from me, so I have nothing left
to drop.

Day 1,256

She dreams of exploding
into tiny corkscrews
of stained purple paper
dropping onto a wooden floor. 

She wishes she could inspire you
to rage over the mess.
She cannot understand
how you might sweep away

or ignore the color
she believes she might become
if only she could break open
her relationship to trees.