ONE VERSION OF A DREAM
Credible depictions of the country of the dead
are pitifully sparse: maybe they dress
in lavish garments, eat fish and warm dark bread
at marble tables, the plastic centerpieces
more plush and life-like than a real bouquet.
Or else they’re bored, and death is grandeurless:
a cold wind blows through town, wheat stalks sway.
Recycling sentences from memory will take
us no closer, but there’s no other way.
Even in my dream, language can’t break
away from me: Two figures ascend a pine
forest toward a frozen lake. They don’t speak.
They shiver and slide on ice that has the sheen
of polished bottle glass. Far from shore,
they peer through a hole into the green
and quiet parlors of another world. They ignore
the person on the banks, waving at them, calling
their names. They look down, as the trout, poor
flesh and blood, flushed with grieving,
continue the erotic business of the living.
Michael Lavers completed an MFA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and he has poems published in various literary journals, including Tar River Poetry, River Styx, and Birmingham Poetry Review.