I roll out of bed when remnants
of dreams pull like an aching lover
back to the sheets. There I remain,
speeding down moonlit highways
on a motorcycle I’ve never learned
to ride. I pass cars with vanity plates
that will never exist, filled
with tired motorists going to dream
vacations that will never end,
but never began.

As I put my feet on the ground
and tear away the electric strings
of nerve impulses,
I do not feel a violent
disruption of worlds colliding.
One world fades slowly,
like a depressed swathe of Earth
rising to meet the mountains,
after the weight of a glacier recedes.

As the spray of a shower
splashes my face, I begin to lather
my body, my eyes remain closed
and the world of sinks and toilets
disappears for another fifteen minutes.

My body finds itself among the
tropical fish, blindingly colorful.
When I peek my head out of the water
and swim onto shore to towel
off, I find myself dressed in winter
clothes on the sandbar, and from that
beach always drive impossibly
back to class, on a cold day
in upstate New York.

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