d o n a l d    d u n b a r

 

They Should Be Born with a Sense of Finality


Bigger, Bigger Animals, with More Instincts































They Should Be Born with a Sense of Finality

 

He opens his eyelids in the middle of the dream.



*


Something like a girl
is in his home

& she is come from the lake of rain
with her nipples staining her shirt
& fancy pebbles in her pocket.

She is absolutely covered in make-up
She is cooing to herself
She is drying, slowly,

& as she dries she watches a photo of a shore
& on it all the folded lines of the tide
& on top of it a mosquito.


*


He is allowed to sleep through his hunger.

In the dream, he hunts an animal
over the hill smeared with grass
over the dust untouched by water

& is more naked than an animal

& is singing a song of doubt.

When he opens his eyelids & is still asleep
a mosquito flies out.

He catches it
to feed to his daughter.


*


There is a lake outside
of mosquito eggs, & rain.

There is a doll in his belly
with an animalís name.

A pebble in his navel
A utensil in his throat

A photo of nothing heíll ever see
is in his lung, & he tries to imagine it
each time he breathes.


*


She takes a utensil from his throat
She removes a doll from where it was hid

She is allowed to mistake herself
& so return from death.

She is allowed to grow claws
& climb a hill & roll on the dust

& to crawl into the air above his face
which in his dream is breath.


*


Something like an animal
is in his hands, dreaming

about being born of man.

Something like a mosquito
is in his veins, singing to

itself the only song it knows

in the only voice itís got.

next































Bigger, Bigger Animals, with More Instincts

 

Iím trying to be kind.
I imagine a person but not a name.
I imagine a pale & believable star.

Whoís not naked & cold
& careful with memories?
Itís fakeóthe real one has colors.

I remembered the smell of blankets.


*


When I think of myself, I think of myself on tv.
Like any large animal. Warm, dead food.
& when I watch tv, I think of everybody. Yesterday:

a man with an absolutely great beard
hunched over an excited woman on a

street with her legs exploded off & a
liver on some sneakers next to her.


*


& when Iíd want to be so happy
& when Iíd want to get
pared away & be
a spinal cord on a shelf,

a smaller crumb,

or an outline of cogs & clean, scentless transfer,

or familiar to everyone—


*


The day comes wild, its flashers & shouts in tow,
kicks the walls in, dribbles its spit
on the desert, itches its sore, flits a pigeon through the window,
& noticing a quiet moment, pockets it—

& consolation comes small with the day.
Like a toy attached to what it imitates.

All I want to do is sleep, be nice.


*


—I want my cells to do the work
& the necks to quit tangling in the line & the
quick-fucked sockets, pulled-apart muscle, fingered tissue

...maybe itís pistons, maybe itís waste—
I remembered liking voices & bells.

...maybe the body expands, is stuck in the air like a roof,
in the lake like a mist—

next

DONALD DUNBAR grew up in the Midwest, then received an MFA from the University of Arizona.


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