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