This is a poem that I wrote for my poetry class at Berkeley City College, and it received good feedback in workshop. It was based on several dreams I had. “Calabash” is a gourd. I have no idea why I was dreaming of a gourd, or where I heard that word. Dreams are strange.
By Christine Lias, c) 2015
You hold me close
In the moment and
I feel your hands gripping my waist
Both tough and tender
I look down and there are flower petals on the floor
But then suddenly the floor melts into a pool of water
The flower petals become water drops
I lean down and touch the ground, now a pool of water
I dive toward the bottom of the pool
Diving fast, like a bullet, or a train
Toward the concrete bottom —
A hard, flat, rough edge at the bottom
I’m on my own in the water here
There is no one to hold me anymore
No hands gripping my waist
No one to protect me.
I protect myself now.
There is a storm drain on the street
Running toward the Bay
And there is a pool of blood
Flowing down the gutter toward
The flies are gathering on the
Blood that is headed toward the drain.
The blood is sticky in spots
Where it is not moving.
The flies are relentless.
I hear the word “Calabash”
And the word “Calabash-ish”
From someone saying the words repeatedly
I wake up in a panic and
Tip over the table by my bed.
The little drawer falls out and my heart beats fast from the sound.
I have not been able to sleep through the night
Since last year.
I wake up every night in the middle of the night
Hearing a sound from somewhere in the building and
I cannot fall asleep again until the light falls through
the flowered curtains hanging at the window.