“The Blessings of Dreams” by Michelle Margolis

Michelle Margolis


in memory, B.

That man is fortunate, who, in the hour before falling
into unsouled sleep
is able to get up, wind his watch and brush his teeth, dress,
put on the shoes his wife had stuffed with tissue
so they’d look new when she gives them away—

lucky is that man, who, astonished, folds the sheets, plumps
the pillow on which his head
made an impression, who doesn’t bother to tell his wife
because he has so much to do
now that he’s been spared, O, and the day!—beautiful, bright,
picture perfect, only someone’s calling—

why not ignore what’s mind-play, delusion—only someone’s
in a voice that’s clear, insistent, he’s remembering a fall
of days that never came to, arriving as they did
without the agency of a moon, mornings dark as nights
so he wouldn’t move,
he’d miss breakfast, be late for school—

all he ever wanted in the world was to stay home, in bed,
where the cold couldn’t touch him—

it wasn’t for him to decide though, or choose,
no more than the dream in which, unthinking, he quits the room.

from Rattle #22, Winter 2004

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Michelle Margolis: “I write to address questions that seem to have no answers. In rough drafts I usually think (or hope) I’m discovering things about life, relationships, etc., but upon ‘abandoning’ a poem, I find I’m left flailing in mystery. Thankfully, I do not dwell too uncomfortably in the dark. Good thing, too—Orange County, California is something of a wasteland for writers.”

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