Dream, with partnering

~ after Hugo Simberg, “Unelma” (“Dream”); 1900

Against the silver blue
and ghostly latticework of trees,
the soul has picked out its mate.

Here’s the husband, whose ordinary feet
move across crimson-speckled grass—
he studies in wonder how it is

they seem to know, apart from the rest
of him, just what to do. The woman
sitting on the rock feels

overcome by the weight of what she does
and doesn’t recognize. It’s like a late
afternoon drama that used to play only

in black and white on her father’s
old television console: a faint rustling
that could be wings or simple static,

before a window opens high overhead
to let a banner of grief into the night.
So gather your hair into a bun

or comb back your locks into a kind of halo.
In any clearing, at least three things will be
asked to dance: the woman, the man, the mystery.

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