Cheryl A. Rice


I dream of solutions as I wade in the dark of my night’s ocean,
sorting a recipe I wish to discuss with my Beloved,
measuring the space in our kitchen for an alternative lifestyle.
I grew up on an island, tho you’d never know it,
tethered to the mainland by highways and bridges
beaded with commuters seeking their daily bread.
In my dreams I wade in dark something like an ocean,
often as puzzling as the Sound that lubricates the shores
between my home and the rest of the territory.
The pale water spreads its green tongue over my confused anatomy.
Trembling is reserved for sorrow, or the welcoming thereof.
There was nothing tropical about my childhood,
and yet it lingers on the edge of my sleep,
sunlit water sheer as a fairy’s breath, curls of seaweed
surrounding my anxious feet. Crawl to the water?
The shore? I settle for material transport, Palookaville digs,
water just a vehicle unto itself and not a destination.
Is it too late to say I’m glad? That the salt will never truly wash away,
yet I keep swimming in my dreams, a cup of this, an inch of that,
no wondering, clear of the sunset stealing the water’s light?