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The Distance of Dreams

In dreams, you are always at the back,
in that square of darkness just outside
the frame of light. You float, suspended
beyond the lowest level of knowing.
I wave distantly, as at a colleague
I don’t have to recognise.
I’m talking acceptably, dug into
a chapter, a shell hole,
someone I ought to recognise
has written.

In the far-off distance,
like Claude’s Tuscan foothills,
you’re with a bloke
already drunk.
I don’t need to sit in
some grubby dive,
or under the pier at Brighton,
sharing fag ends.

You’re far off, beyond the edge of memory.
In the dream, the talking’s almost sensible.
None of the manufactured smiles,
as I hide your vomit behind
my handbag. I’m floating high now,
no one’s pretending not to notice,
no gratuitous pity.

Light forces itself
under the torn curtains.
Opposite the supermarket’s
taking rowdy deliveries.
You’re coming into focus,
almost, across No Man’s Land.
I’m in range of enemy fire.
Awake, I see the trail of
pants, shirt, one shoe,
dead matches . . .

Liz Fenton has lived in Asia and Africa, as well as the United Kingdom. She has turned her hand to writing about a very wide range of subjects from horror to magnolia blossom and most subjects in between. Her interests include nature, politics, the Middle Ages and early music. Her work has been accepted online and in print by over thirty journals/ magazines from all over the world. She is working on a series about a flying cat which speaks fluent French!

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