She Dreams

What is it that you see with your eyes closed?
When I touch your eyelids
My fingers come away trembling

Bathed in the television’s flickering glow,
Underneath the coverlet of night, she lies
Cupped in his warmth;
          and she dreams

Of Boston, where her old apartment sits,
The bedroom lined with plush the luggage
Has no room for, as her mother packs;
          and she dreams

Of Florida, where her father strides past palms
And a white marble fountain, larger than life,
His bright suit tailored and gleaming;
          and she dreams

Of Guyana, where her grandmother sets
Five places, calling ‘Maria, Maria, come eat’
As her great grandfather rocks and puffs;
          and she dreams

Of Jamaica, where her uncle sits tinkering
With the remote, switching between menus
On the new digital video player she brought;
          and she dreams

Of Columbus, where the years of him not being there
Still pain her, the crowds rising in exultation
As Ohio State’s strikers edge in a final goal;
          and she dreams

Of Los Angeles, where a new friend
Slips his arm around her, and she laughs,
Spilling Grey Goose vodka and Red Bull;
          and she dreams

Of Las Vegas, where a stranger sets his chips
On her own, before she folds, then leads her up
To watch the moon rise on the twenty-second floor;
          and she dreams

Of Argentina, Dallas, Denver, Sydney, Scottsdale,
New York, Rexdale, Hamilton – of everywhere
But here, here, here,
          where he lies with her

Wavering between wakefulness and dream,
Between adoration and fear, in quiet desperation,
Knowing when he sleeps he will only see

Her hair
Her eyes
Her face

As she dreams


  1. Anonymous12:38:00 AM

    Very deep. I loved the stories of all the places she dreams, and how it all comes together.

  2. Anonymous6:13:00 AM

    What a great poem. You've conveyed the feelings and doubt in a partner not loving you as much as you love them so elegantly and skillfully. Excellent.

  3. Beautiful writing. The images are really strong. One exception is the Los Angeles stanza, which isn't as strong as the rest. You might work it a little harder. But all in all this one's a definite winner.

  4. Hi Ellen, thanks, yes the images may be more vivid for Los Angeles. The intent was an emphasis on the vodka + energy drink mix, the context of the spill, and everything that this connotes.

  5. I read this from your tweets.....Reading it again on your blog I am even more in awe of the way you weave a tapestry of words so effortlessly. Brilliant stuff.....Much Respect

  6. Thanks! Although it actually isn't effortless, it takes sweat to get the words to work. This poem must have been rewritten in its entirety at least a dozen times, even the scene sequence was juggled endlessly. One day, if there's interest, I may do a behind-the-scenes blog.

  7. Short link -

  8. The little touch of desperation felt at the end is very powerful. I love this one very much.

  9. A tale told with exquisite beauty. Love this narrative, Sam. A great read, sir.

  10. Anonymous3:54:00 PM

    a fine, polished piece. I love your opening, especially. The details vividly point out your inner layers at work. Love!

  11. When she finds peace "here, here, here"---she will know what means to truly live.

  12. smiles...really cool the progression through all the places sam...many i have but many i want to visit as well...and great contrast between her dreams and his as well...there is a really nice intimate feel to the opening lines as well...

  13. Sam...this needs no comments...just another read. Fantastic, Poet! Your work stands as it always does, and I'm inspired to be better. Thank you!

  14. Beautifully written and a bit sad. i did like what I read here.

  15. Sam, a beautiful write. Love the images.

  16. Sam, these images are so vivid. I like the contrast at the end, the unexpected turn, I like where you went with this. Very cool!

  17. Superb - love it - this has truth

  18. That gypsy chick has a bad case of travel bug ...know the feeling!

  19. I read your comment saying you rewrote this many times. I find consolation in this knowing that someone of your caliber works so hard to get such a beautiful outcome. It also teaches me something - too often I just post my first draft. Maybe if I work harder, rewrite and rewrite, I'll get closer to your talent.

    I can dream, right?

  20. Anonymous1:19:00 PM

    Wonderful use of repetition to build a sense of yearning in the narrator and expectation in the reader.. the resolution is all the more painful for that effect. Skilful writing, vivid and emotive... really enjoyed this Samuel.

  21. I know this couple intimately thanks to your skill. Beautifully realized work. A behind the scenes blog sounds like great fun, I'd subscribe!

  22. I like very much the chanting, repetitive shape of this and the way in which it serves the evocation of a sort of geography of dreaming. Fine stuff.


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