Michael Lavers: "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.