(April is National Poetry Month.)
If you are familiar with The Hunger Games Trilogy, you know that that dreams, nightmares actually, are a part of the story. So I have been thinking about dreams and how they weave into stories—how we weave them into stories is probably more accurate.
I find my own dreams very difficult to write about with any objectivity. I always feel an impulse to make sense, to provide a narrative—and I know that the narrative comes after the fact. This poem is one of many attempts to write about dreams, but just grouping them together and giving them a title creates a narrative absent
from the experience of dreaming.
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The Miss Rumphius Effect
There was a girl in an apricot velvet dress
waiting for a ride after the dance was over.
They turned off the lights
and she was still waiting.
I was locking the windows and doors
to keep out hordes of children
who were not mine, but they kept coming in
like mice through cracks
or water through a sieve.
I buried my face in your shoulder
and you twirled me around.
My feet never touched the floor
and I was so happy.
an acquaintance or a minor movie star,
pleaded to stay with us
saying that we could never know how frightened he was
Only after we sent him away
did we notice that the switches and outlets were all scorched
and our house had been struck by lightning.