d o m i n i q u e    w a g n e r



When We Are Awoken, We Dream


When We Are Awoken, We Dream


I am becoming a reflection of fragility.

I am learning to turn 
a love seat into
          a bed made for my                      body

sweats: constellations of pearls, I want to web
			                            it together — 

up from the chest,
             an added 
                            breath at                     that moment 

lungs are merciful,

				                  a necklace of crystal. 

Geometry of limbs — 

		        I never learned to find the area
		        of my abdomen my pelvis my

				                body never to be
				                woken & aware, 

it contours,                it creaks.




The birds  
spit up the chronology 
of caterpillars
                                    that night 

I picked rice paper

with watercolor from
the basil or the figs
or the branches or the wishing well.

The Fall has never felt more
                  like mud. 
I imagine my leather dry

leaves, for my mother
                                            cadmium fingernails.

Yesterday the nurse said tomorrow.


I remember the past when purple
twigs were found

                                      on the hardwood
                                      drying in the creaks
                  on the stairs

                                              I raked them into paper 
                                              bag lanterns
          poured candle wax, my fingers molded.

                         Love of ontology 
                         on the living room mantel

          did her skin become tree bark?

                                            a row of broken frames.


Later I dreamt of writing
with pomegranate juice.
And she returns in the morning,

         thin hair 
                                  gauze pillows for moths
                       limbs like roots

                                            if I arrange my mother like that. 

         A laundry basket 
         of bedsheets.

                                  Whoever she was

left the drapes to drift.


DOMINIQUE WAGNER is currently a MFA candidate at Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared in Hyphen, Apiary Magazine, & is forthcoming in Pretty Owl Poetry Journal. She lives in Chicago with her handsome dog, Ernest.

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