- "He touched the person, meaning to heal them, but instead, they pass away"*
. . .
Instead, in one's own person, a mishap—
When one begins to decide something based on incomplete information.
What one needs for protection.
Sometimes you can kill another person and not feel bad about it. You don't want to do it. But, if you're on a street at night and it's dangerous, a stranger approaches, you can use that.
When one floats around the perimeter of the dwelling as if to isolate a previous belief system.
What it is to remember everything about a few things but nothing about most things. The objects, furniture and such, colors of doors and especially staircases. Even when the objects themselves change, the memory of them is stuck.
This is a quiet neighborhood with several recent burglaries. The war is over there. We have all the wall space we've ever wanted.
Pernicious as in hooks.
The possibility that the bodies might edge around awkwardly, bash teeth, not like lions like bats.
Pendulum-like gongs. Gong gong gong gong gong. [End Page 22]
Only certain thoughts make it possible to get off.
Exceptional fruit, exceptional labor.
When the genealogy is cut either by will or demonstration, there's not an easy way to retrieve or go back to. What exists in the place of what's been unavailable to you?
What you really want. What you really really want.
It's un-American to waste opportunity.
Imagine a beautiful fracture, a wondrous contortion, a backbreaking ache. It will do the body in. No way to hold that kind of thing.
You can't just say to another person I want to fuck you, crawl into bed with them, and then not fuck them.
What's a condition and what's a duration. As in, so far I've remembered one dream in the past four months. Two bright moons, one a reflection of the other but I couldn't tell which was which. [End Page 23]
Dawn Lundy Martin, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, is author of DISCIPLINE (2011), A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering (2007), a chapbook The Morning Hour (2003), and a chaplet The Undress. Nightboat Books Poetry Prize, the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and May Sarton Prize for Poetry are a few of her awards and recognitions. She is a founding member of the Black Took Collective, a performance group of experimental black poets, and a founder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York.
* From Chloe's dream.