(back to Bode
     Hall home)
     purple dream again.

I swear I saw her
standing on my front steps
again this morning, with a
hand palm out and eyes welling.
Yesterday she'd been walking
on the opposite side of my street
next to some guy talking to himself
who didn't notice her shadowing.

I'd looked up to see
if it was safe to cross
and my eyes lit on the
street, then tits, then her.
I felt shame right away
of course, and almost missed
the shimmer of leaves in
clear view right through her.

Well, of course my eyes
widened at that, and I held
contact with her faded face
until her gaze came back.
As soon as the pendulum
(oops, again, raise eyes, smile)
swung back to me I looked

But she ditched the mumbler
anyway, and stepped across
the street toward me,
Right in front of a bus.
Just like the other week,
the driver didn't even slow
and ground her tenuous edge
into a puff of diesel smoke.

I flicked one tear out
of my eye, onto the sign
that says "please curb dog"
and re-entered my tunnel.
Tap, tap, on my shoulder
and there she stood
with one palm out and

Later, at the office,
(this is where it gets freaky)
I'm taking a piss break
between cups of coffee.
Less anxious even than
usual to return to my desk,
I let my attention wander
to the toilet paper's pattern.

I'm not making this up.
The cheesy quilting spelled
out words on the roll,
words that hurt to read.
"Let the kid out to play,"
they began in an adultish
scrawl, "and stop locking
him up in the boxcar."

"Stop letting my comeliness
of form bar you from
attention to my presence
and I will forgive you.
Give me your fingertips
to touch mine tomorrow
Just long enough to

I swear she smelled of lightning.

-skyler, November 1999