Slumber opens a dark vehicle’s trunk,
cold dusk inviting me
                                          climb on in.
Among this stench of oily rags,
against the rattling jack and wrench,

all steeled accoutrements in waiting
to assure passage, chauffeur me back
to an aching place, a cleaved delirium
where terror becomes real:

nightmarish and gruesome, my incoherence
mutters at the twisting id
I shudder from here to there, shuttle
where it becomes crucial to startle

oneself out of regret − how I spent
my life. Or why? The where is easy,
full of gloomy facades. And then, you
and I embrace, in a dreamy meadow,

our blanket padding roots of an apple tree,
gnarled trunk grasping toward supple sky.
Old deceits engaging:
                                                    wake now!

Sam Barbee

Sam Barbee's poems have appeared in Poetry South, The NC Literary Review, Crucible, Asheville Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina and online journals Vox Poetica, Courtland Review, and New Verse News. His second poetry collection, "That Rain We Needed" (2016, Press 53), was a nominee for the Roanoke-Chowan Award as one of North Carolina’s best poetry collections of 2016, and is a Pushcart nominee.