Daniel B. Silver

IN DREAMS


 

In my dreams, there are many dead men
Faces half-gone from gunshot or maggot
Blackened skin like banana peels left to cook in the midday sun
Hollow holes where eyes used to be
But still, if you stare long enough, you swear that they move

In my waking thoughts, there are many dead men
They come from different backgrounds, but share a common thread
Some died of violence
Others by nature
But some, if you think hard enough, cling to life in the mind’s dark places

Few that I’ve known get more than a moment
A shake of the head; a brief moment of silence
Many say prayers
They aren’t always audible
But I, for the most part, busy my waking moments with work

Few of the stories and lives are remembered
For some this is best
For others, unjust
As summer turns to fall, the trees turn to skeletons
But spring, and its fresh growth, does much to hide the past

In my dreams, there are many dead men
Some propped up in cars, brains on the headrests
Some smell of urine, alone and cold on the living room’s carpet
Whatever the causes, the diagnosis is always the same
But still, I tell myself: That won’t be me

In my waking thoughts, there are many dead men
And I can sleep soundly, but never alone
I’ve known them so long now
I can’t imagine their absence
But they, I do so wish, should let me rest one day