Letter to Nathan from a Dream Mall
Today I dreamed us into a new mall — platonic
ideal of treated glass and the fountains all smell
like showers post swim meet, pennies
at the bottom dark as the blot on a heart.
No Fry’s, but Best Buy; no Sbarro, but a Steak
Escape. My subconscious, after all, will only
make good on so many inbound requests.
It’s a place of empathy, empty. Absent girl teens
whose angry bones blade up through their fluid
jersey knits, no boys and their lacerations
at the metal lip of the dumpster. Only Lola,
forlorn matron, skims the unpeopled piazza,
LeSportsac hobo bloomed black with Bic
leakage. The sky through the skylight infinity
blue, the atrium prim with echo and reflected red
glare from the ghosts of light-up sneakers. I am
broke and haven’t a bad thought to my being.
Funny how we side-eye false positives,
throw ourselves into belief in their counterpart.
I am vowing to trust my gut, ecosystem to millions
set up in the primal cathedral of viscera, roiling
eyeless in that acid heat. We’re all waiting
for a vibrant, unassailable sign.
We’re in this together, timid dance of what to do
next. I don’t know, but so don’t the gut bugs
and they’re not raising a ruckus. Placid,
the rubber touch of the Congo Philodendron,
throat-caught rattle of descending metal
security gates: couldn’t stop a riot if they tried.