A dream within a dream scrambles into
What am I, a mind reader? It reminds me
of a reversible rain coat from my childhood—
navy blue outside, little green whales
inside—and how one year for my birthday
I asked for a pair of pants, but instead
my sister gave me a twelve-inch porcelain geisha.
Her brain translated pants into geisha
but if I’d wanted a geisha, I knew better
than to ask for pants. Codes never work
the same in reverse. Family is an intricate,
With so many moving parts, who’s to say
what’s broken? Even if I succeed in not
ruining my children the same way
I am ruined, I will find new ways.
When I say a child is less loyal than a dog,
it’s nothing personal. They’re less loyal
by nature because they aren’t at my heels.
It sounds worse than I mean it. I know
from experience, my children will carry
my words so close that the words
will change them. Already I can hear
the rustle of something turning inside-out.