in the dream this time

I wrote a line to start

then again inevitably

I woke to remember

nothing but the sense

that something had left

something consequential

something now absent

like the vacancy we fill

each time we move quietly

through an empty room

something that’s always there

outside the dream I write

myself through the delusion

that I have something to say

beyond my mundane day

beyond my awkward cliches

beyond my last glimpse of land

where gulls screech to the wind

their sneers of mockery and desire

where I’m stripped of my words

and left alone with what I am

a tongueless mouth gasping

for air beneath a dying sea

(October 20, 2022)

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