Dreams and Portents

Illustration_from_The_Little_Lame_Prince_and_His_Travelling_Cloak_by_Dinah_Maria_Mulock_illustrated_by_Hope_Dunlap_1909_12

Dreams and Portents

Sometimes I picture you a boy,
love a mere seedling in your heart, unwary
of storms, drownings, of bitter growth.
Unbent by acquisition and loss.

Did you lie in bed and dream the mornings,
before work roused you with needling
demands, before a rueful sun crested
Michoacan hills and roosters crowed?

Did love sidle up to your warm skin
and steal your breath? It must have been
clear as an opal, that heart, and soft as jet-black
loam, awaiting a romance, a real hermosura,

the day the page would turn to your own
life. I wonder if you ever imagined me—
however unlikely, had a faint premonition
in the x-ray vision of night? Or did you see me

in my hometown where you lived one year—
a stranger? Did you pass me on a California street
I walked two hundred times, meet my eye one
smoldering second and ask, Could that be her?

{First appeared in Sackcloth and Ashes, 2008}

 

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