Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sleep State

I dreamt of Scrooge last night, for the first time,
it seemed, and with nothing of the drama one would expect
of such a visit--no Marley or journeys in time, no
scalding jabs of damning implication.

This was the Christmas giving Scrooge,
reveling in tenderness and bonhomie, the new Scrooge,
born again, gnarly faced lips curved in smiling peace, happy
being alive, rid of miserly contraction, free.

Free of obligation, free of strings attached to expectation—
from anywhere, cosmic, imagined, terrestrial! Free of
judgment and consequences and worry and debt, free

at last of the gibbering, howling madness the interminable
traffic outside his apartment door incites--
the assaulting din of myriad conveyances sparking
ancient fossil detritus to rage muffleless or snarl
turbo’d farts of dinosaur bequest.

Within the mute enigma of merging sleep scenarios
where insights meld and part in frail coherence, I felt his
serenity, unwavering throughout, and knew implicitly
his silent language,
understanding it was mine as well.

I awoke to morning light, feeling fresh with desire
to make notes, capture on my laptop screen whatever
remnants of my sleep’s enlightenment had yet not
succumbed to wakened demands.

Then I remembered the rent was due, and before putting
the coffee water on I fetched my checkbook and pen...

                                                                                                                           m.d. paust