We dredge to see the outlines of dreams rise
to the surface and sink—iterations of another
life—the great broken possessions of the dead
and the ways we deprive them by keeping them
ghosts. The color gray is all they have to eat.
We do not let them climb from the Lake.
We never expected their dreams to float.
We are cruel when we believe we are living.
Walking Again at the Asylum
The length of iced-over desert stretches absent arms.
Ghost traces clot the horizon, frosted moisture corroding
the restraining chair left to rot. A hawk bursts from the jagged
seat, flushes our faces with warmth, the glow of knowledge
and danger. The watchman attempts to warm his unfeeling
fingertips in the weak light of the patients’ flickering prayers.
The people are disturbed, both inside the gates and out.
Our prayer is cold like God’s articulate fingertips, like
his delicate wrists; we are sick. The hawk repeats her passion.