|Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA|
I Wake from a Dream of Real Estate
Down the river chickens are streaming —
large chickens with knobbly veins.
They have a trick of catching the current,
racing along. The man who owns the chickens
rides with them, the current so strong
he’s injured — a herniated testicle —
sounds painful, but we don’t like him, so we’re glad.
In my dream, as always, I’m young.
I wake up an old lady, struggle to dress
because the bed’s too high, my balance bad —
I’d sit on the floor but that’s beneath me.
I’m not sure I’m in love any longer —
I don’t feel surges or urges.
Mostly I want things tidy & I want to be left alone,
to go whaling in Patagonia, birding in Ecuador,
to ride my bicycle down Center Street in Santa Cruz.
If I brought Tova to Esalen we’d go to the hot spring baths.
She’s three, old enough to find the nudity surprising —
her people wear clothes
though they haven’t always, her daddy for sure
spent his second summer naked
including a week on a public beach with his naked brother
& mother & her boyfriend.
Two men threatened us at one point, but Steve had a knife too.
A man, his wife & donkey stared —
Whose children are they?
Surely not yours. Your breasts are too small.
How do you feed them?