Deciduous Dreaming

A stack of turtles sleep atop my dresser

Resting somewhere between peace and panic

Across a page split down the middle


A creek caresses the cricks of their shells

From higher than my vision believed

Trickling washed words and shallow lines


And steadily eroding the space between

A fall of words ricocheted and clawed past the turtles

As to strike my ears if I approached


The layers impatient inside the dresser

Don’t let them get too wet or wordy

Worn words are the hardest to forget


And the coyote never forgets which words pierce

So easily past these paltry layers

But getting dressed is the first step in becoming normal


Again, the coyote comes for the turtles

Crying in the daylight as I lay awake

She must hunger too, I suppose


And what can I do but let her eat

For the bridge between our eyes

Wrings lightning down my brainstem


Those putrid fangs piercing the layers, the shells

The calcified cracks bleeding dreams

From the wayside and I am still


Watching my breath turn to lead

What can I do but count the casualties

And stack the survivors so


That creek runs across the center

Atop the dresser again

Where the turtles sleep