The Girl’s Dream Journal 


A church, but everyone is dead.
It’s okay, though. They’re smiling.
They’re all lying down on the wooden benches
like books on shelves, like pencils,
like fish, like the stuff in a museum
with the lights turned off. 
It’s smooth around their eyes.
They never had to pray or cry.

I don’t know how I know,
but I am a flower. A short one.
It’s windy, so I move and move
like I’m a kite and the ground is a kid
holding on. I hope I’m a clover.
I like clovers.

The trees are all talking.
The forest is like those D.C. people.
They’re all wearing suits and shaking branches.
They make deals and cheer.
They toast with river water.
The leaves flash like twinkle lights when they laugh.

There’s a dragon. Smooth as sea water.
Scales like liquid. The dragon is our friend.
Doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy
or someone with your own name.
The dragon breathes fire, cooks us dinner
with his belly flames, shows us
our own fire, how to breathe and breathe
so we’re filled with our own burning.

I’m old this time. Clouds nod hello
on their way from town.
Maybe I’m on a back porch
or a ball field. No . . .
I try to lift my arms,
but I don’t have arms.
I have grass and rocks and wild deer.
I’m a mountain. I’m forever.


I have feathers I can take on and off
like a beautiful dress. I keep them
in the closet of the bedroom
where my mother sleeps. Behind
what she was married in. Behind
the shelf she doesn’t know I know about
where she hides Christmas presents, papers,
the feathers she wore before I was born.
Even in the dark I can see how bright they are.

Maybe I’m a cloud again or a blimp 
or a balloon a kid let go of at the fair.
Maybe I’m shiny with ribbons streaming down.
I’m way up above the town like Mary Poppins.
I know that. What I don’t know is what I’m doing here.
Oh! I have an idea. Maybe I’m an idea.
Now if only someone would think of me.

There’s a field of wild harps.
Tall ones like the sunshine in heaven.
They drink at the watering hole
with the elephants, bending down,
wind humming through their open bodies.

Snow. But with each blink the world changes.
We’re socks under laundry soap.
Now we’re erasers full of chalk.
Cherry syrup waiting for ice.

The mountain goes up forever.
Of course there are trees on the mountain
and deer and owls I can’t see.
Somewhere is an opening to a cave
you have to squint to see, but there are white rabbits
asleep in that secret. The smallest one is me.


There’s a swimming pool
in the middle of town.
Only instead of water,
the rectangle on a hill is filled
with quiet.
People come by from all over
to scoop their cups in
and walk home with their little bit
of cloud. Hundreds of them,
steady, with one hand over the top
to keep the prize from wafting out.

I’m what happens in a candle
when the flame shows up.
Bring a lit match or a lighter over
and I am a—suddenly!—universe.

I know my brain as a coral reef,
fish thinking their way in and out
all these shapes. Here’s a blue one
with a yellow face. Here’s an octopus.
Here’s a small silver oneshimmering the same light
that swam across my brother’s face
before he died.

A rhinoceros.
A blackberry bush.


The cold is like a grandmother.
She knits and knits all night.
This must be what grown-ups mean
when they see the yard snow
and think of blankets.

The soup noodles are boats adrift
on the broth's wide warm ocean.
They must avoid the unfeeling spoon
that comes for them despite the nobility
of their tiny captains. This one
is a potato with a piece of carrot for a hat.

I'm reading, my eyes
tracking down the page
when all of a sudden
each letter is a bird
with dark wings.
In a rustle and ruffle of paper,
the whole flock is gone
leaving only the power lines
that held them, leaving only
this little open sky
across my hands.

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