The Night Parade
In my dream, Mother is chasing me
with a syringe.
“Don’t be afraid,” she croons,
“This is divine,
and it will keep you coming back to me.”
The sky is a portrait of God —
one blue blob with fingers
Powder bubbles in a bottlecap —
My body blooms with bruises.
Now I am dancing in clouds,
legs burned by fishnet hose, purple lipstick
staining my hand. An angel parts my legs
and I am almost free
but the window is raised like a guillotine.
A crooked man deals Three Card Monty
chanting, “Watch the red jack,
red not black.
You win. You lose. You lose.”
Lights glow yellow, red.
Cloaked in sweat-soaked sheets,
the dry tree of my body cracking, I look for patterns
in the scars on my wrist.
What is essential in me
begins to mourn without my consent.
Shadows surround the bed.
“We are the sunken boats.
We are the road that rolls up as you sleep.”
Where is the night nurse
with her liquid kiss?
In each corner, spiders laugh and multiply and spin.
Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World: Poems in the Voices of the Major Arcana of the Tarot (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Barrow Street, Poet Lore, and a variety of other journals and anthologies. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin award. She is also a painter and the creator of The Stone Tarot. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is currently editing an anthology of poems on the Persephone/Demeter myth.
Photo ©Joanne Warfield