John Grey

You can’t dream at 10 o’clock in the morning.
Pilgrims turn to salt on their way to Mecca.
Trucks litter the road with unknown corpses.
The sloth is climbing out of the body,
curls around the overhead light.
Unburied obstinacy raises its ugly vapors.
Palms pound tom-toms with ragged heat.
Indifference peels away from the forehead.
Rosie the Riveter reigns like a goddess,
shoots slivers of silver into unnamed women.
Guilt, ugliest of all poets, writes sonnets in your wrinkles.
Dive-bombers take potshots at your eyes.
And what is a heart-beat but blows against the dead.
Meanwhile, nerve-ends tickle memories
till they crumble like atolls in a rough and shiftless sea.
No dream at this hour…not of yesterday,
smooth sailing, busty mannequins or downhill trails.
You’re sleeping but awake.
So who’s going to tell you this?
Imagination and reality draw straws.

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