Inspired by Jess Tramp.
Warning: This poem does not do her photographs justice.
Sometimes, at night, for no reason at all,
she stops, and lies down in the kitchen,
on the marble floor, dreaming in silver,
eyes in little half-moon slits. She dreams
of running in an eggshell dress, running
through fields, poppies like blood drops,
beneath an air-brushed blue sky. The
wind chimes in her ear and she can hear
whispers of hope floating through the air.
She dreams of crystal lakes: cobalt penance
in which she swims thoughtlessly. She eats
blackberries with her bare-hands, messy
and swollen, thick with sweetness. Somehow
she fills a vacuum with this impotent wine.
She dreams of making a mosaic of her aches.
She glues them down the shadows of previous
pains. She sees her silhouette on the window-sill;
sometimes that is all she feels. She dreams of
pigeons, dead ones, that follow her everywhere,
giving her their flight so that she can soar also.
There is a wreath of wheat in her hair, a braid
of simplicity, because things are easier here
in this world. She dreams of words smashing
through terracotta streets like cannonballs,
bursting to scatter lemons: she is allowed
to be bitter here. She kisses fish for fun.
Crinkling her nose at the wavy feel of scales.
She travels by donkey, on a turquoise saddle,
loving every moment of the scalloped ride.
There is no traffic here, no voices colliding;
everything sounds like bells. A gong rings
every time she stirs: don’t disturb this stupor!
She slips through keyhole doors (like a secret)
forgetting the parts of her she left in trees
because they left her behind like autumn leaves.
A wishing well lets her drop coins into reality
with the hope that, when she wakes up, her eyes
will still be violet to match her amethyst dreams.
But will she remember any of this when
she flickers back to the cold marble floor?
She would like to take photographs of what
they feel like and keep them in her pocket.