Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Dream Catalogue

I release the cat into the sea.

One night, I am dead—
the next I am kissing that girl
from my middle school.

The dog runs away.
The dog is hit by a car.
The dog attacks.

A black hole makes a slow, fat B-flat
like a tuba playing something funereal
along the cusp of the imploded star.

Sometimes my roommates come back
to reject me again.

Once, my family left me
at a rest stop on the side of 70.
Once, their faces turned blue
and I had to reach into their mouths
to dig out scarab beetles
lodged in their throats.
Once, it was Christmas
and my grandfather told everyone
he’d been to Dachau.

A deep well means prison.
A mirror means a second wife.
They say we can cure your migraines
based on that expanse of sky
you think you saw,
that we should vote according
to whether your boyfriend leaves you.
They say Lincoln knew he’d be shot, but—

what can we chalk up to presentiment
and what to generalized anxiety?

Would your answer change if I told you
about Lincoln and panic attacks?
About Lincoln’s phobias?

When Lincoln woke up,
we imagine it was with a feeling
of indiscriminate dread.
When we wake up,
we change our clothes and go to school.  

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