In the corner a remnant
of a vision pulled up
in half-sleep, pulled from
memories of an old man telling
a story near a communal fire.
In the corner,
a blistered sack of a human-like
thing with hooves and a black hood
covering its face. I fell asleep
thinking of the past and
an old man telling a campfire story
and now this looks like it was
pulled from that fire, but not fast enough.
It has deer-feet. It has a black hood
and I think now it is a woman
and I think in half-sleep that makes
perfect, drowsy sense. I don’t know
if I should speak to Her but when I try
the voice of an old man telling
a fireside story comes out of my mouth
using words I understand but do not
recognize. I am
aroused enough to know
She must know this.
This vision is now
floating toward me. I’m still
half-asleep and half old man
by the fire when
She comes close. I feel Her
grass-fed, smoke-blister breath.
The old man council fire story
upon my neck now.
The hooves dangling.
Her name on the tip
of someone else’s tongue
in a language I don’t recognize
but which I understand too late,
just before I fully wake; awake
forty years too late to tend