A heart carved in oak
gives way to a primordial urge.
love like siphuncle threading mollusk,
now a pale whisper in rainbow light
as a woman of plenty disappears
into the dark beside me.

Lake water curls around
my woman of the perfect shape,
my hands like wings
in their other business of prayer,
an image of doves clinging to my head,
almost here enough to hug into me.
my aching tentacles like streams of rain down glass.

Night inlays my bed with moon and springs,
back and forth and back again,
the bedrock is my lover,
now deftly bobbing buoyant brown.
Do I dream her already?
Is there no one here beside me?
Just the air, ephemeral and free?

Thoughts flow easily across this double bed.
a human touch carved in memory.
a sliver of sleep
that stops incoming bodies merging,
so hands merely ripple
when tippling the hazy opalescence
of untruly skin.

I dream a face out of cotton.
I stretch my arms, forgo all human needs,
listen to the gentle asides of my mind’s breath.
Do we go to bed so she can really wake up?
Is it these ill-kempt blankets
that arc the tossing seas of true experience?

Life really is a variety of languages,
spoken and unspoken.
And, amid the dross,
I graduate from ordinariness
into dazzling, soaring accomplishments.

Then it’s dawn.
My eyes clear out their dust.
Subconscious is replaced by skin.
Reality is, once again, a servant of yearning.

Two people, that’s all it takes
and our bed abides
after a voyage into and out of
a disappearing land.
One rhythm ends. Another rises
in a string of light around your throat,
a sensitivity to my brow’s furrow.

Windows clean themselves with brightness.
Holiness burns in my palms.
The warm whispers, “It’s okay to live.”
The night’s artifice is today’s comfort.
I’m thinking what if a dream came true?
How would it fit in
with simple understanding?

John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Santa fe Literary Review, and Sheepshead Review. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, La Presa and California Quarterly.