is the word occurs to him.
No point writing this one
if he only dreams
he gave Bonnington
to give Ripley
his collected works
so far. While he waits
he writes the second dream,
which he will keep from the doctors.
Anna and Paul pick him up
and from their house he calls Melindra,
addressing her as Lovely.
He could be back in his first dream.
She calls him Honey, a smile in her voice,
adds she may come early if that's okay.
It is. While he waits, he reads over what
he was playing in his first dream.
He asks Paul if he has a spare clarinet.
Paul says: Yes, yours.
He wets the reed.
His lips feel like rubber.
Once he begins remembering,
riffing on a score he had to write down
He remembers what he cannot play now.
You will, Paul says, take it with you.
Lovely arrives and puts it in her car
without asking, and he feels no need to explain.
Over dinner Anna asks Melindra
why she wants to go to med school,
learns of the abortion, the brush with death,
the womb removed so she can live
to become a doctor to help women like her.
Anna says she wanted a child. No way you can,
the doctor said, you can always adopt.
Paul shifts the subject. What will Bobby do?
Lovely says he needs to become famous.
She's so serious, her eyes like razors,
Bobby says, If I were Richard Hugo,
I'd work at Boeing writing to order
so someday soon I'd have a book in hand,
the poker-table version of A Run of Jacks,
"Adventures Between Danny and Henrietta."
That should give the two human being in this world
who love him and therefore love her
grist for the mill of marriage and kindness
they would winnow from the wheel of their grief.
So Bobby tells Melindra once they arrive home.
Her home. The second story of her house.
Tomorrow they will live downstairs. For now
she does to him exactly what she did
in one of his two dreams, did what he did not do.
They sleep inside the curve of their bodies.
In the morning he shares with her his dreams,
unfolding the first dream that he wrote down,
then follows it with the other two,
first what it was like to wake, then the second dream.
Will she say he's into wish-fulfillment?
(24 February 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander