What the Evil Dream

Beth Gylys

Do they fall through tunnels,
spinning like weeds in a cyclone?
Do they cry into their mothers’
laps? Do they hurtle down canyons
of body parts: knuckles and knees,
earlobes, blackened livers?
Do they scream or stand calmly
dusting themselves off, pulling
a cigarette from a front pocket?
Do they dream only in black
and white? When they smell rain,
do their minds take them back
to their crouch in the root cellar,
an overcast sky where they darted
between frayed tongues of wind?
Is it cloudy in their heads, or is it
a blank space like an empty
schoolroom, chairs tucked in,
chalkboard sponged clean?
Have they ever stood in graveyards
along the grassy hilltop, their hands
held high to catch the light?

Currently an Associate Professor at Georgia State University, Beth Gylys has published two award-winning collections of poetry: Spot in the Dark (Ohio State UP 2004) and Bodies that Hum (1999 Silverfish Review Press), and her work has appeared in many journals and magazines.