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it was a dream, and hard to tell

where borders and countries began,

but there was a dirt path,

and only I knew the way.

The dirt was soft, and the day

beautiful, I was barefoot

and running freer than ever I have

in wakened-life. It felt good

running in a warm sunshine,

ducking under the Velvet Mesquite,

with their canopies, their shade,

their branches, like open doors

to some better, magical place.

I liked the dream very much,

and could have kept running,

but I came to a lone house,

stark in the barren desert.

A blonde girl stood outside a fence,

scared and holding a gun,

and just like that,

I was shot in the arm.

I said it was a dream, didn’t I?

So, you won’t be surprised

I was impressed with her aim,

rather than the pain of being shot,

and I had to go pee.

I looked for a bathroom,

but had to wake to find one.

What is memory, I asked

later over coffee,

a little box in our brain,

a string of pictures?

How do we get there?

Memory is what we tell ourselves,

he said, about what we see

and what we feel.

You see, when Maggie died,

she passed into a prairie falcon,

she banged against windows,

day after day after day,

then left a last gift of quail,

and traveled the road of her happiness

to some place better than here.

Months later, the sun smiled,

and I ran on dirt, soft as baby powder,

passed through door after door,

on long, liquid legs, more of wing

than bone, and only I knew—

only I knew the way.