The Students Part II. Alex’s Dream
In dream-tide last night,
Alex says he piloted a swift plane over blue sea,
and rose, nose-upwards,
through whistling blackness, gravity
a sweet denseness on his chest.
Here, in this shabby basement classroom
where they put the “crazies,”
he looks up at the ceiling where
the steam pipes crisscross,
“I could feel it!” he says,
touching his heart, amazed and happy.
His classmates lean toward him
always-angry faces softened,
quieted by story, as if they
were watching him search the sky for words.
Shy, at first, his voice grows stronger;
images unfurl, color into color, unfolding
into the air like a magician’s rainbow coil:
Flying in the happy-dark,
he is surprised
as his earthly friends–weightless
and taunting, a jeering flock
of human ribbons gliding in
from dream-space–snake through
the cockpit window; how
they mock and tug at him!
In this swirling center of impatient arms,
he resists (even in the telling his
hands clench holding steady
on the flight controls), but still–
they pluck him out.
Through cold black air he spirals,
plummeting in teenage-freefall,
clothes flapping against his skin
like the great, dark wings of gigantic birds.
The sea (cradle of water) rushes up
to rock him, buoyant
and joyous, back to the surface,
where he wakes, flight recorder humming,
to the blue, the air, the clamor of gulls,
the fabric of memory, fantastic and intact.