I dream that I am headed home, rushing through tunnels that surge
past me with the speed of intermittent fading lamps; tunnels break
into an evening where moonlight is selective, highlights green eyes,
one hand. Other sleepers pass close, murmur inaudibly;
voices slip between me and the contorted window. I wish
that I could see autumn on the hillsides, leaves pitching in odd tones.
But tonight a fog fell dense with quiet ascending stars, heavy as words
I have not written yet. Iím too tired now for anything, I need
this place to rest until light breaks Octoberís odd summer air,
some space to lay this ballast body and dream of sputtering engines:
dreams inspired by the sounds of a sleeper three feet over, too close,
and yet no threat. Between scenes I wake to wonder how
my mother has stayed with a man going on thirty years -- stayed
in the same house and bed with a man who talks asleep, walks dizzy
as travelers on trains that sway when passing each other, murmurs
like fluorescent lights above a drive spinning on its unseen axle.
I am here to escape the rotation but it follows me; it is imbedded
in the chill of seven a.m. when I rise, exhausted from light sleep.
The double-ring quilt meant for a marriage bed sifts from my hands
to settle on the drink-heavy body of a man who cannot stir--
even to be grateful -- who will not wake to know that I was there.
© Christina Salme Ruiz