( Detroit, Michigan )
I Dreamed the Girl
I dreamed the girl was my daughter,
five years old,
breathing a feather breath of innocence,
I dreamed the girl trying to seduce me,
her lips too close to mine,
now breathing fire into my mouth.
I dreamed of shame,
dreamed her long black hair
falling without care over her shoulders,
seeing her tiny arms tug at my hips as
her shiny eyes reached up into my own,
half-closed with disbelief and desire.
I dreamed the girl kissed me,
her fragile figure aglow and suspended,
aurora corporalis as the room disappeared,
and at that moment,
I hated her and awoke
to the quarter-speed soundtrack of
the girl screaming on television
(3 a.m. art film on channel 99).
I'd left the lamp on and
the light flood bit my eyes.
Then I saw the girl screaming on television,
dreaming in her pretty shoes,
battle faced girl
merrily merrily merrily
did she know what she was getting into?
she screamed about snakes and crotches,
deceitful on celluloid, dry and sober—
3 a.m. art film on channel 99—
she screamed cars and beaches
she screamed a beating heart,
a man showering,
screaming mortality and sexuality,
shaved legs and television.
The room disappeared when I reached
and killed the light,
reality now tv fishbowl aqua, and still the girl
slowly chanting screamed, mortal girl.
Drums in her lungs, clowns in her eyes.
She screamed at the camera, screamed at my face,
saw behind my television mask.
I clicked off the set and
dragged into bed.
Then I heard the girl screaming.
Next - Bob Bradshaw
Current Issue - Winter 2007