Amid the life of the dream
I awoke into the dark
of a post-apocalyptic world
where knowing how to read
especially hearing
toward the voice
inside of written words
was dangerous
too much ability
to hear meaning
and thus determine
lines of control
accounted dangerous
the old stereotype
of people with glasses
as bookworms, intellectuals
and always suspect
glasses were confiscated
and destroyed
as instruments
of sedition
the commander of the camp
I woke into
brandished his diploma
during my interrogation
he had me read it out loud
then made me stop abruptly
at “all the rights and privileges
thereto appertaining”
and show him where
as if it were a test
to see
if I could tell
but I suspected
from his tone
that he did not know
how to read beyond
sounding out letters
like a mariner
sounding out the depths
of an unknown sea
 causing the fear
to rise up through him
wrapping its tentacles
about my heart
and I woke
into this dream
and like the imprint
of fossilized shells
left in limestone
centuries ago
along the bottom of the sea
the textures of the night
as I move about this room
teaching children
to read and write
afraid for us all
that they cannot
(April 2013)

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