Jan/Feb 2013 Poetry


by Shannon Connor Winward



Sometimes voices wake me from my dreams
and follow me throughout the day

          déjà vu
          a record, skipping.

Considered alone
their conversation is innocuous

          Libraries are westerly.
          Throw out the chicken.

but as a lingual bridge
from dream to reality


I can't shake the notion
that I should wake up

          and pay attention.


I drew my bedspread
across a burning candle
and caught the edge on fire.

As I tried to put it out
an old woman stood over my shoulder
insisting I was doing it wrong

so I began to blow
great, desperate puffs of air
but the flames engulfed the bed.

          For Godssake,
she shouted.
          Stop breathing.


Sometimes I wake up gasping.


Our bedroom was brighter when I woke
than it was when I fell asleep.

I searched every room.
I checked the ashtray.

I collapsed beside my husband
but struggled against sleep

convinced that if I drifted off
the fire would become real

the place would fill with smoke
and I would die

curled around his body in a rigid s
as he snored and dreamed of things

that stay where they belong.


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