Ivory

I dream that I think about taking
a shower. I should, because
it would help me relax and sleep.
I dream that I have not slept
in three nights, that I should take a pill
or drink a glass of wine
and find a book with ivory pages,
easy on the eyes. I should climb
into bed then decide what the book
will be about and what is on
the pages, besides ivory.

Now I’m holding the book
in the shower. The pages dissolve
and flow down the drain.
There are elephants outside
in the dark, trampling the flowerbeds
and breaking the sprinklers, looking
for my address. The line of them
reaches back to the overpass.
They are taking the northbound exit.
A vast herd is thumping up the 101
because they heard I have pages
of ivory. But the book about time
is flowing out to sea. And if I don’t
wake up, I’ll never get to sleep.

 

J. Kyle Kimberlin

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