Poetry by Lauren Gordon

Being Forever in the Pre-Tumbling*


in the dream i am
always leaving her
backing my car
down the driveway of
the house where
i grew up i leave
her with her father
who watches
from the window
of the house where
i grew up
where my mother
still lives in the dream
with my brother
who sleeps
on a mattress
on the ground
and he does not
care that i am
leaving again
and he could not
know a future
of sleeping
on the ground
i leave and drive
sometimes i visit
an ex or a friend
who is not a friend
and usually i am naked
from the waist down
in the dream i am using
a toilet loudly
in front of an ex
or a friend who is not
a friend in the dream
there is food
i gather it
though my mother
does not approve
but my daughter
is always my daughter
the one i am always
leaving to battle
a frozen field
of brown recluses
or i am leaving
to run on a treadmill
pants-less again
until she finds me
or her father
finds me out
of breath and half
nude with spider bites
backpack full
of oatmeal cream pies
in the dream he says
let’s go home
to our home he means
that one home
i rarely leave
sometimes in the dream
he is my ex and then
he isn’t someone
he says let me
take you home
and sometimes
in the dream
i say alright


*From Galway Kinnell’s “Little Sleep’s-Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight”

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