Scenery in a dream
Life is not merely the struggling at present, there is also the poetry and distant fields
– Zhongwen Yu
I cracked youth open. It was an accident.
It came rushing out, all over our bodies
sticky and wet and breathing our own words back at us
ones we thought had come while dreaming.
I had been dancing. You were sleeping with your head
pressed against the cold, white wall
mouthing sleep words into the sheet rock,
the same words
long and slow so the plaster could hear you.
I smelled something burning.
It was the house we lived in, but nobody had hands
to douse the fire or lips to spit it out.
It was evening, and all the boys and girls had gathered in our kitchen.
I watched their hips and hands swaying to a distant music,
their arms wrapped around each others’ waists.
A little girl emerged from the rubble
of our bedroom. She was thin but
not burnt. Her skin had the matte black sheen
of wrought-iron. The smoke
had made her heavy.
Why we drift into
a certain scent.
We are wandering now in a garden
where you lift your dress so I can touch the tops
of your thighs.
I remember only your legs and
your hands, possibly
the aftertaste of
on your mouth, just
what could have been there
not even your long hair
which I loved
to run through, that distant
a long, thin
Credit to the art and words of Zhongwen Yu, who inspired this poem. His work can be found at Saatchi Art: http://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/86299.