Feral Dream Orphanage

by Alexandra Seidel

The moon is a lantern in my house of feral dreams,
each dream a beast from a legend unwritten,
their shadows cut from nightmares
and the wish to fly.

The dreams make lairs of the corners, hide in the basement
and swing like acrobats from the rafters;
when I sit down in my chair with a cup of anise tea
they sometimes crawl up my legs
and go to sleep in my lap, dreaming dreams of waking.

Each dream beast has a name and its own story, and each dream beast
is lost and alone without someone to dream them.
The lucky ones are just gone one day, leave no trace
on the floorboards where their claws drew strange lines once;
sometimes they return, forgotten and abandoned after waking
and I stroke their fur, watch them
bite holes into my skin in their savage pain.

Another night will come, I tell them, tell myself,
you will be dreamed again, your name held in a beating heart
in the moment of waking.

And I sip my tea of anise, watch my lantern black as night
one time out of twenty-eight,
and ask myself who will remember me and know my name
once the night is over, once the moon has gone to sleep.

Alexandra Seidel lives surrounded by many books. Some say she has too many of them, but those critics aren’t right of course. Things Alexandra wrote herself may be found in Jabberwocky, Strange Horizons, Bull Spec and others. Lately she has taken up editing poetry for Fantastique Unfettered and Niteblade. Read her feline writer’s blog: www.tigerinthematchstickbox. blogspot.com

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