Dreamed c. 1993 by Mark Doty
"I've been having these
we're walking in a field,
or a path in the woods that opens
excited; we're calling but
onto the highway. I don't want to describe it.
so we don't know where he is
I'm afraid if I sleep I'll go back
not even a real word
that draws meanings into itself,
a word; we tried to admit
I know the current wisdom:
shows in any tests, Nothing,
that trickling, steadily rising nothing
and I swear sometimes
like a refrigerator.
and go straight to hell.
Soul without speech,
black muzzle, black paws
he's the part of us
--always just me and Arden now--
which is why, when he took a step onto Commercial
And there I was on my knees,
and when I looked into that bewildered face
I didn't know who I was trying to protect."
SOURCE: "Atlantis" is a set of six poems by Mark Doty; it's the heart of his 1994 collection Atlantis. Three of the six are dream-centered. The World Dream Bank normally excludes nondream poems, but these are so powerful and compassionate I've made an exception and posted all six: 1 Faith - 2 Reprieve - 3 Michael's Dream - 4 Atlantis - 5 Coastal - 6 New Dog
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