Last night’s dream had me back in my father’s kitchen.
Which also was once my childhood kitchen, but isn’t anymore:
I’m no longer a child, I don’t live there, things have changed
and the only person still there
is my father.
It’s my father’s kitchen today, and so that’s the way it was in the dream.
Except my sister was back too, and so was my father’s ex-wife:
She also once was my mother, but she isn’t anymore.
Certain things happened and
I had to live my life without her in it.
Sometimes families are funny that way.
Last night’s dream had me scared and overwhelmed.
Which should have therefore had me brave,
but sometimes dreams are funny that way.
They show us things we think we’ve learned
but haven’t yet mastered.
We all want to learn things;
I want to learn how to be brave, keep my head,
be wise, even-tempered, live above anger.
It’s something I’d been proud of improving until last night’s dream,
Which started with a fish.
I was at my father’s sink,
the sink i grew up with, cleaning a fish that was huge it had
skin and eyes and gills and i
couldn’t even pick it up and
she was there, yelling at me i was
taking too long the
fish was going bad.
Last night’s dream had me screaming:
Please stop it!
and heaving the fish in a rank garbage can
I see color in dreams and sometimes even smell
and this horrible garbage was stinking to hell
so I ran.
Last night, in the dream, my ex-mother was pregnant.
At sixty. Hiding it well until
I came round a corner to run into her big exposed belly
in a striped shirt where lines became waves;
Her face was so many things at once…
it was shock, it was fear, it was anger, betrayal,
confrontation and guilt: her face was a novel
of feelings without names.
3 black crows that used to be her soul
screamed at me through a hole in the mouth of her face
"don’t judge me, don’t judge me, don’t judge me."
Screaming it like she wanted me to, to somehow justify
the judgement she'd already given herself, but I won't.
Woman, your justice would freeze beer.
I'd thought I'd awken then with that realization
but the dream went on and there was an altercation.
I’m not proud to say it: I joined in
lost my head, blew my cool
and woke up with my voice coming out of her three mouths:
"I’m not ready for her yet, I’m not ready for her yet, I’m not ready for her yet…"
Kissing my sleeping father goodbye in the dream,
telling him I wish I could stay and work things out but
I’m not ready for her yet.
Sometimes life's messages can be funny that way.
I want a mommy that loves me for me but she’s not
Ready for me yet I wonder if
She’s having dreams in which she’s a pregnant fish,
stinking and gasping for a breath of cool water
but she’s not ready for it yet.
Guilt runs through her veins like ribbons
and they’re all tied up in knots.
Tonight in her dreams I’ll untie them.
So she can become a baby
in her mother’s kitchen and I’ll defend her
until she’s strong enough she’s ready for love.
I’ll tie her heart to my apron strings
and we’ll forget all about last night’s dream.