I dreamt I didn’t have a baby.
Pregnant, the baby always dies,
or I am just sterile.
I decide to bury the dream
no one else needs to know
Jotted on a slip of paper
folded it in half and half again.
Tucked in a book,
the slip wormed through the pages
Buried at the base of a tree
The relapsed reverie sprouted
through the soil.
Someone picked the sprig and
The dream turned into a black moth
Come back to bang against
The pane of my consciousness.
I caught the winged thing in a net
Pressed it into a palimpsest
Then placed it in my pocket
A piece of lint must have
Used its slippery tongue
to implant into my pocket lining.
The embryo forgotten for a time
But even the expecting pocket
Miscarried, the fetus
fallen to the floor of a grocery store
Assuming the shape of a silverfish
Skittered out over the linoleum
I picked it up and shoved it
To the bottom of my purse.
One day I knew the bag needed cleaning
Among the stray receipts and hand sanitizer
I found a form that had finally come to term
It was inevitable, discovering it, again
The thing I wanted most.
Do not unfold it.
Do not erase its scribbled face.
Stay teetering, on the brink of tossing it out,
or thrusting the memoir back to the bottom of my bag.