You lie in your bed dream-wracked. The moon-launched arrow, silver-tipped, misses its mark. Wasted, it disappears deep into your star-washed pillow. You will not remember. Love-crazed, I pace outside your frost-etched window. The golden candlesticks blow over, dream-toppled, as from a memory-bladed wind. The passion-hooked bits of debris that make a life ignite. An inferno ensues. Every haunted second is different now. I have dreams, too.
Cinders of your dreams come falling in silence as shooting stars. Every waking second reverberates with their hiss and pop. Wanton, you haunt the night. The Chinese poets meditate chastely on the edge of the pond, dusted in bits of debris: feathers, pine needles, hollow snail shells. Radiantly they stand, candlesticks on an altar, with their beards of glowing ash and their hair aflame. The pond's polished window reflects its depths and calls my name. I hesitate. The screams of a circling hawk interrupt the night. He cries, “I have dreams, too,” once, twice, thrice. You are absent. The poets say simply, “Lamps might be safer next time.”
When, with hearts aflame, the Chinese poets abandon their wheelbarrows of thunder on the blank pages, we will know. When, beneath the pines, we sit in the forest's dogwood-snowed beauty, we will rejoice. When, with time noticeably absent, the golden beeswax obliterates the silver candlesticks, we will understand. When, behind a cloud of snow geese, the trees become illegible, we will begin. When, under a tear-misted moon, we sift through the bits of our heart's debris, we will forgive. When, on the white pillow, every waking second is laid bare, we will sleep. When, across the glacier-spaded valley, we see ourselves reflected in the window of a scrub jay's eye, we will drop to our knees and cry out loud.
---Susan Collier Lamont
Susan Collier Lamont is a social justice activist in Sonoma County, California. She is also a landscape designer, photographer and writer.