Galloping Pieces

Bridget Talone

I dreamed the baby’s head was soft, and shaped like broccoli.
I watched a throb move through the veins in her translucent skull
like I used to imagine God watched people when I was a child
(another child, hypnotized by toy cars on a track).
Do dreams belong

to the day before or after sleep? Unless “belong” is wrong, and bruised
feelings extend forwards and backwards on a darkening seam.

As long as I dreamed, I never forget my capacity for neglect. Or
the pearls of life inside the excesses of a dream, one of which was
all the kinds of time that piled up there and could, at any moment, 
fall—crushing you where you stood. A dented toy grenade and

red pellet remnants of firecrackers in the street. It had been a day of
jubilations: everything shredded to confetti, each piece wet with light. 

A man was annoying my baby by moving her pram into the sun
which made her sweat and cry. I turned her on her stomach
to try and swaddle her, but she began choking inside her mask. 
She wore several hard plastic masks that had fused to her face. 

the neck of her turtleneck was wet with tears. I knew that
he would turn us “into statistics” unless I learned to protect us. 

In the middle of group therapy, the doctor started flickering on and off
in her chair. This flickering seized my body from inside, as I’d always
wanted therapy to do. Her daughter was observing. There were seabirds. 
on the water, with dark heads and white bodies. On the black river

they appeared headless. I was on the verge of tears. I didn’t knows she had
a daughter. She flashed like foil in the sun. Binding, blinding, book between. 

A massive bull stood in milk colored water. I felt safe near him. 
His eyes were ringed in blue powder. The water was pulling me
into the center, into its lowering lap. I tried saying all that I could
see to calm me but the rainbows on the filthy skin of the water

vanished. The bull was gone. The grassy path I followed—filled with
water. The water returned verticle like an office building before slamming down.