cracker

Nicodemus Nicoludis

i can’t wash
my face enough
to make it clean.
     scrape sand off
my brow,
out of my
lightening hair.
     count strands falling
out as years spent
living?
i want more than conversation or occasional interaction.
     give me a hand
and make it
work-hard
and calloused.
i speak with my tongue because it’s the only organ i can operate
     or play when i need to.
i see us the same.
our future dependent
on a power
     we’ve just
          learned the name of.
like how to categorize the names of people as birds and watch them fly.
     rip from starlight
some of their
skills for cartography.
     map all the pockets
of the heart that feel
pain on long walks
and dark hallways. 

 

but what can we do?

here is the point in the story
where i tell you about my dream.  

or, how i don’t dream and
sleeping is a big black cloud  

that comes. and i close my eyes and
open them in one motion.  

whatever day it is, it starts empty.
i want the kind of dreams 

that are instructive.
or the ones that i read about  

where they help you work
out some problem or task in waking life.  

i can run over our last night.
see the expression on your face,

and know through rehearsed scenarios
just what you’ll say. and how i can react.

but without the dream, or the rehearsal
i wonder how to move next.