by Philip F. Clark

In the dream I woke up hearing two voices:

my father and I were speaking --

I had grown older and he with me,

rather than the way it turned out. As I rose

from the bed, the bed was empty and ice clear. 

But he was there, a cold breath, turning to me,

holding something like fire, and his touch -- 

            I keep touching,

            I keep touching -- 

as if my hands being touched could become 

fire too. And then the conversation died. 


"Remember what I said," and then he was gone.


I wanted to speak, but I had no tongue

and no touch and no fire. I wake up now

some mornings, 



pressing my hands into the voice in the bed,

and I rise reaching towards him,

the tongue of my hands in my head.


"I will, I will," I said.