Tuesday Apr 23

Dreese-Poetry Donelle Dreese is the author of A Wild Turn (Finishing Line Press), and Looking for a Sunday Afternoon (Pudding House Publications). Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Quiddity International, Journal of Kentucky Studies, Appalachian Heritage, Runes, Gulf Stream Magazine, Journal of Microliterature, Gadfly Online, and ISLE. She is an Associate Professor of English at Northern Kentucky University.
Sleep Lab Dreams
The doctors have orders to examine my nightlife.
They want to know if my sleep state is a canoe
gliding lake symmetry, or a moth fighting
to stay afloat in a pool of churning water.
They want to know if I breathe even, or if like a whale
I only surface for air after long strides in the deep.
Sometimes, my nocturnal life is a ride
on the roof of a moving train during the full moon.
In the morning, my hair is windblown and my skin glows.
What they can never see with all these wires clinging
to me like spider strings, is that last night
I was picking fruit in an orange grove
and you were holding the basket.
You drew a dragonfly on my wrist
and ate the sap of a longleaf pine
from the curve of my ankle.
The next day, the sheets were stained
with pulp, rind, and tree bark.
Let them put that in their report.
Let them examine my blood and bergamot heart.
            (There is no lightning happening right here right now but somewhere there is lightning, a   constant current flow from the ionosphere to the earth. ~Dr. James Oschman)
Children know what is true in this world.
They submerge themselves in sand and soil
each of their ten toes well-sashed
with grass stains. I tried to remember
the last time I saw my footprint on a stream bank
or buried my toes in a scalloped shoreline.
The calluses say it's been years. I decided
to plug myself in, both feet determined to press
fresh June grass, to feel the earth's free
electrons penetrate the ball of my foot.
I don't know if my blood began to vibrate,
if my frayed wires connected, but the sweet
terrestrial injection was like eating the blueberry
and leaving the muffin behind.
The Arms of Guanyin
That the hungry and frail
mouths are open
we know
What we long to uncurl
is just how far the arms
of Guanyin reach
Goddess of Mercy
forty arms that multiply
to a thousand
Arms that are tentacles of aloe
sleeves of blood from surgeries
that remove despair
Each hand a fern unfisting
with contours of shine
One hand throws a rope
the other, a palm of wheat
Her compassion a kelp pocket
bursting in a sea of faded coral
If you ask for love she'll grant
a vineyard of understanding
a smile that does not know
if it is mine or yours.