János Thorma, Daydreaming in the Fields (Wikimedia Commons)


Around midafternoon, our dreams slip out to have a walk around.

They slough off the brightness of day, cloud our vision
and take our pulses. They thumb through all our notebooks.
They read our latest emails. They eat our snacks and they know better
than to wake us in our seats. They grin toothily in shadows,
pinching us, making sure.

Occasionally rogue dreams pass from one coworker
to the other, slide hands along our human shoulders,
whisper that we relax.
                                    They pull pads
out of purses, condoms out of wallets. They read
our rent checks, laugh, and suck the ink
from our cracked hands.
                                       Then, with their long nails,
they trace the crow’s feet beside our eyes,
noting age, fatigue, the brittleness of skin,
and swapping partners, enter us again
through eyes and nose and name.

                                They charge the air with shades:
they are the hazy knowledge marked
by you, the air, and me
as we lift our heads     and wake.

John Linstrom is series editor of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Library for Cornell University Press. His poems and nonfiction have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Atlanta Review, the New Criterion, the Antioch Review, and elsewhere.

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Published in the September 21, 2018 issue: View Contents
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