The first time I dreamed of Him was also
I sat at a long table that seemed to go on forever
gold and silver lights
that seemed to say Jesus everywhere—
and then He was there, holding a man as if securing him
after an early-aged heart attack.
The moment I tried to look at His face was like all the others:
I woke up—
and the moment that followed sent me into a turn
of retching and blood. I believed.
I prayed for the utility of my eye sockets then, the eyes
all water, peeling,
and the eye sockets were like cloth
until the eyes became nothing
but deep pockets
that couldn’t be filled for years.
As a child, I never believed in the others—
the closest I ever came to a dream was
a tall, spidery man in a blood-red suit who
whispered in children’s ears, and
dark hunting creatures
for teeth, from rooftop to rooftop,
in the middle of the night—
We were once told in elementary school to
write a story about
the first time we lost a tooth,
as if we really remembered the when and where.
Later that morning we were told to fill out a ballet
for the next President of the United States
and were told our votes would count.
We were too young then not to believe it.
A man came and took away the stories and ballets and
threw them into a shredder’s large mouth.
The particles were expelled on the other side.
We watched. The eyes continued to fill.
The particles took the shape of trees.
The man’s fingers rotated counterclockwise.
The process went on for years.
At last, there is a spiraling shadow
placed in the corner—
the horse, the cross, the lawn chair,
the leftover bank statement—
they all taste the same in the end.
They always puzzle and chill and moan
in the earth’s cold surface
the same way we do,
looking off in the distance,
wondering what will come next.