I woke up in a strange place,
in a dream, in a nest of fireflies.
When I opened my eyes I was
in a garden splintered by sunlight,
red roses seeped through the pale
leaves and the grass hummed.
The tepid air filled my lungs
like music, something French
and sentimental. I wanted
to sing, and why not?
I thought I was still dreaming.
I wanted a cigarette, a bath,
a glass of milk.
There was a small city behind my eyes
with roads and trees and newspapers.
I could feel it clanking to life,
its dogs and cars and crusty loaves
of bread, its bicycles and
postage stamps, its hundred
excuses for living, black coffee, rain.
It was a Monday or a Thursday,
I’m sure of it, and daylight
lay across my eyes like a net
of blunt knives. I wanted to wash
the bright taste of sunlight
from my tongue, I wanted to sleep,
i wanted an answer.
My life was a dull museum,
a magazine, an accident
of fasion, rakish and foolish
as a white silk scarf. I was in a garden,
I could hear bells tolling across
fields, across churchyards and
parking lots. I could hear couples
breathing in their cars, old men
in park benches, I could hear lilacs
blooming, radios, bees.
I wanted to bask in the harsh light
of possibility. I wanted to lie on a red velvet
couch under a skylight, to lose all sense
of proportion and live without pity or
blame, without a trace of irony.
I wanted wind and all its
in my hair, and honey, not sugar,
for my tea. I wanted absolution,
I wanted an aspirin.
I wanted to nail all the windows open,
to memorize each searing blade
of light, each speeding train
between the eyes, each brooding
way the body answers, the soft and
crooked places where the bones meet and sing.