Preludes to sepia sleep
they come
and I but a spectator
in thrall to the flick of an old viewmaster
or the careless cast of an octagonal die
with chance designs on each flat face
I watch, watch the pictures
these.  these are mine
but their sequence is without meaning
I muse, crazily, wondering who tonight’s director is
Lynch, perhaps?
an old man with nicotine stained hands
pours his fifth shot of Jameson’s
he sits at his ancient arborite table
with a hand rolled ciggie burning away uselessly
his blackened paw lolls there in its traced-out spot
a dark star in an oily brown haze
the ciggie suddenly burns into his naugahyde skin
and he stands, knocking over his old chair that bleeds stuffing
and the last words I ever heard him say were
I am puzzled.
and I remember what the next morning brought for him.
a four year old girl runs tauntingly from her mother at the market
a true hellion with freckles and Shirley Temple hair
she’s in black patent leather shoes with a strap
an anachronism in a pinafore
a frail old lady I knew as my own
this one hurts
she lies in her bed
and keeps a tin bucket by her side
to throw up in
but she says go home to your wife and kids, go home
a full face phantom of a troubled woman I knew
from group
she seems troubled no longer
and smiles to me
and it makes me glad
but her eyes change to stuffed olives
and a front tooth drops out
what have I done?
from decades back
an accidental eavesdropping
the giants in our little lives
they talk about we two brothers
but there is no love in it
they talk about our two big brothers and the drinking
and the girlfriends who are never good enough

almost to sleep
and then, there is Rosie
we are thirteen
she is the first to ever like me
and I throw all of my clumsy love
to her soft pink cashmere
fluttering lashes
and silver braces

These are the overtures.
What will the dreams bring?

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