Poem by Jennifer Moore





In dreams, you hold the boot that kicked you
under a jar for twenty years;

for twenty years that leather toe holds still.

And like the closet that loves a dress—
a dress that comes and goes—

you lean against the ebb of your own rooms:

two brothers forever walking out of the kitchen,
a sister sailing over the Dakotas

toward another winter.

Watching your grief, I become part of it.
Watching your grief, I’m the cup

that gathers keys which have no doors.

I know that in dreams, all your floors
are fastened with safety pins,

and your time is spent freeing the spring from its clasp.

But your mother’s advice still holds:
reverse the river,

play dead with the dead.

Create a recipe for rain
then let the clouds break open.