One is my mother. Her smile a Siamese cat’s —
her ears sharp and tail proud as she blinks a wise-eyed stare.
One is a dead poet I love. His appearance wakes me
inside the dream I’m dreaming. I panic that he has died,
but in my sleep, he lives again.
Who is here and who has gone?
The abandoned shells of crabs are numinous
and litter the beach.
The smallest cormorant dreams
the soft salty flesh of crab. The beach sends ominous signs to my waking self.
One is a friend who died at sixteen, our lives briefly linked.
I walk though these dreams. Are they my own?
In a mask I walk. In a hand-sewn burgundy mask.
People who have died catch this terrible cough.
to the waking world,
the dog on me breathes his shuddering sigh,
while the dog of my dreams