When Joe said he directs his dreams one of us
cried out. While letting Joe be, I too prefer
my dreams as is, always hungry to see Ma although
I could have done without the white spirit
wavering and the two detectives--suitably dressed--
cackling below the window, stomping upstairs,
banging at the door and I in that frozen half-state.
It all stopped at last, but Ma may come as often
as she likes. I like even the loser dreams.
When I told tales, unusable plots filled my nights.
They were appreciated, however. Recording loser dreams,
like a loser's loser will they also go away for good?
I hope not. The doubles partner plays as if he's
alone, a minute to group the far-flung bags before
the train stops, poetry reading with all the poetry
back home, trying to make the phone call the operator
thinks is being cancelled, pissing in the basket,
no's and no's scribbled on the poems, dribbling
dark red wine on the clean white T-shirt, skeletal
Christmas tree. Loser dreams take care of losing.
Whistling in the dark.
Chris Waters has published about 120 poems in the U.S., U.K., and Australia. His most recent prize is the 1998 Betsy Colquitt Award for three poems in Descant.