The Day Before the River Returned


In my dream of enlightenment there is an aquarium full of Kennedys and drag
queens. In this dream I can see the odor of an ear falling asleep. Blackbirds and
bedsprings are mating. Can you hear the gills pulsing? Come see the freshly butchered
cloudfish. It seems to be some sea cucumber’s idea of heaven. An entire universe of green
swaying tubas erupts beneath the buoyant ceramic boat navigating the dreams fluid
eyelet. Children are screaming, screaming, “Music must be seen and not heard.”
Like an argument between scissors, I slice away at a last chance to inflict reason.
I’ve been separated too long.
Even in the dream my stomach votes capitalist, dragging my heavy baskets of need
out of the territorial boat. I clutch a dripping fork and suddenly I want my own egg,
floating up, a cold heart from the inside.
Other times I’ve been calling it sympathetic, calling it occasional, fluent in stone,
submerged, silent but for the taking of time. The dream wakes. When you fall, it’s up,
into the sky, where the water gathers for the crucial discussion about relocating.
I can’t hear the drag queens’ stolen speeches but soggy Kennedys drip from the
aquarium lid. If the idea of heaven votes for the cucumber, I can’t see how I’ll be able to
Outside the air grows sharper. On the corner of the breakfast plate my own egg
begins watching me float.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.