Ars Poetica #40
(the Worst Case Scenario Version)

Kara Candito

And then everything pressed the eject button.

I dreamed bookcases collapsing like exhausted

sherpas. I dreamed a hernia, kidney stones

and a weeklong trip with the oven on broil.

I dreamed the terrible weight of suitcases

and airline fees; fire and folk remedies

that led to new afflictions. I dreamed beetles

in surgical masks beating the windowpanes

while we spooned on a bed of concrete

and conspiracy theories. I dreamed

the Portuguese Water Dog that betrayed

the whole academy. I dreamed a media frenzy.

Camera crews arrived. Buses arrived.

I barked and got excited.

I dreamed all the pieces of silverware

I stole from fine restaurants in the 90s

flying back to their 77 rightful drawers

with incriminating stories. I dreamed

the burnished weight of soupspoons

that anchored me to subway poles

and bus seats when you were just a wish

I recited to a floor lamp in the ugliest

borough of a city. I wrote letters

and ate words with my fingers,

as a fugitive should. I believed you’d

listen to me if only the music changed.

When I woke, it was the afternoon

of the eclipse and no one remembered

my name. When I woke, I went to the roof

and banged the pots and pans

to scare myself back into myself.

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