Poetry by Christianna Cannon

THE DREAM

I crawl through a slash in the water,
and end up in my backyard,
but the trees are all wrong, and I'm hearing a song
voiced by some nonexistent young bard.

I find myself up on a rooftop.
I feel poisoned, just from the air.
I take a deep breath of that blackness and death,
and I shout, "Is anyone there?"

I hear tiny noises around me,
I come aware, but they are gone.
On the brink of flight in the darkness of night
I cower in dread of the dawn.

I see myself walking below me.
I leap down, intending to kill.
But I enter the fray in the role of the prey,
so defend myself with force of will.

I'm tensed as if in my next nightmare
but this has nothing to do with fear.
I hope that I'm dreaming, I feel myself screaming
with words that I can't even hear.

Besieged by a red crocodile,
which I match bite for bite, claw for claw.
I think I've been changed, and somewhat deranged
but that's just part of human law.

I'm cold, then I'm hot, then I'm burning,
but my soul is detached from me now.
I feel like I'm dead, in the sky overhead,
but the atmosphere's holding me down.

I slink to a crack in my reason
and crawl through, expecting daylight.
But I've found what seems to be more endless dreams,
so I dissolve myself into the night.

circa 1998.

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