Friday, August 24, 2012

dreams into dust

St. Louis lays out like the serpent's tongue,
daring the ferry foolish to enter the
bedchamber though the bride,
fat and drunk, waits six dreams away

if the mighty river was meant to frighten,
it failed, not knowing the opium of ignorance
and the lure of anyplace but here

what they heard was the cry of golden shores
under sun bleached skies while the
fliers tacked to poles offered
Eden's apples free of the curse

these are the dreamers
frames can't hold on any mantle
and all the tears worth crying
are sealed in Philadelphia trunks

i watch the merchant scowl, and squint
his cavern eye, while robbing the soft pilgrim
with only flour and yeast as a weapon
~and i wish to be robbed as well

but i have no poke, no Conestoga,
nor friend to cheer me on.
and the wagon master, he mocks
my mule in disgust while spitting,
"he'd never make it through Missouri"

if only i had an oxen or two or
better luck at cards, or a bride
full of batting lashes, or a rich uncle
poor in common sense
if only, if only, if only...

for i too am a dreamer and
have heard the call,
and i know, don't i know
how it all waits, just for me,
beyond the great mountains

they'll leave in the morning, just
at first light, and I'll watch them
grow smaller as i swallow their dust
with my hope, and whisper to my mule,

maybe next one, girl, or the one after that
while spring turns to summer
and i into dust