Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Three by Lyn Lifshin


your cats were
my cats?

The golden room with
one mobile over

blue sheets?
Blinds let the moon in

and before it
thundered, before

breath moved quick,
then quick and

slow, we made
little rooms inside

each other’s body



Tho I’ve been turning down
readings, when a woman I
never heard of writes me she
sold out her books at a shop,
I take the next offer. It’s in
Boston. That should be good
and tho I have driven so little—
sure, I got my license my 16th
birthday, couldn’t wait to take
my uncle’s blue convertible
out with my friends and of
course drove it into a ditch—
but no matter, no one ever
knew and that’s another story.
In the dream, the man I’m
with comes with me for a
night before I perform but
even then, it’s not ok. The
hotel feels strange. Worse, he
is feeling horny. I’m nervous,
the reading is beginning to
gnaw and some of my clothes
are missing. It’s been years
since I drove in any city. As
it gets closer to the hour I
need to go, I fall apart. I’m
churning and then I start to
scream, hysterical, yes I am
and I’m not quiet about it.
I know I can’t do this. I don’t
even know how to use the
GPS and signs are in a
mysterious language. “Isn’t
there a bus?” I yelp. How
much would a cab cost?
I seem about to implode and
explode at the same time.
Mirrors are shaking. Clothes
strewn over the floor. I
am late and I’m not dressed.
I’m so wild my friend
is pissed, and screams,
spits “why the hell did you
take this reading?” Suddenly
we are on a very crowded bus
with a store size rolling rack
of my clothes, as if I can’t
help dragging everything I’ve
touched or loved around with
me but there’s nothing I want
or need to wear. I decide I
will just read from my old books,
can’t bear to try out new things
tho I have two new books.
Then I see I have left my books
behind. I can’t do a reading
with out my poems. My friend,
disgusted, snarls “no way we’re
going back.” I see he means it.
If there is a book buried in the
clothes I don’t see it. Suddenly
I realize I don’t have the address
for this reading, any idea of
the street name, no phone number



when a sister dies, you
kneel in a pile of
old letters, something
inside, a dead fetus
weighted with stone.
You don’t need to
google her. In dreams
she is in the emerald
and green that made
her eyes blaze. When
a sister is dead she
can’t still hurt you.
She can’t still
hold you

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