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Terracotta Dreams

How do you measure
a dream?

Perhaps by its gait—
the impression it leaves

like tender toes on wet sand;
if it stays firm under constant barrage

from rushing waves
you’ve really got something.

Or, you could try on
all manner of shoes

to see how the dance changes.
Clogs, fuzzy slippers, snow shoes…

They all dance
with different grace.

Either way, you have to know
how to fit your dream

with the proper soul support,
lest you tarnish the stride midway,

send it veering off-course
into the crashing surf.

Then you’ll really be in hot water,
so to speak.

That’s why—mercifully—I always choose
the heaviest pair:

so I know when the damned dream
careens into wilder depths,

it’ll stay down there
for good.

After all, you don’t want your dreams
laying face down on the shore,

all swollen and purple
and baking in the hot sun.

No, I’d much rather picture
all my dreams

standing together, arms up-stretched
(drowning? No—cheering!)

starfish-suckered
and pale as China soldiers

waiting to be discovered
by brave divers in cages

or by some self-exiled crew
escaping land’s drudgery.

Then, while I laze, burning to a crisp,
I’ll know my erstwhile dreams

are out there, waving up
waiting to be recovered and loved.

Thoughts like these
make Piña Coladas even sweeter,

and I need something
to take the edge off this sunburn.

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