Ode To Untoward Dreams

by Barbara Hamby

Barbara Hamby

Have you ever dreamt you had sex with someone
you aren’t remotely interested in,
like a guy you work with or one of your husband’s friends,
and then the next time you see him,
at the xerox machine or a party,
you’re horribly embarrassed
and the poor guy has no idea what’s going on
and neither do you,
because you hardly ever see your husband’s friend,
since his wife can’t stand you
because you are childless, thus selfish,
and your conversation is filled
with utter drivel, like the sex lives of movie stars
and all your various fears and phobias,
which since she’s a psychologist she should find
at least remotely interesting,
but guess what, she doesn’t,
and she doesn’t even know what you and her husband
are doing at night, and the guy at work,
who could have guessed that he would do
those kind of things and with such abandon,
it makes you wonder about his mousey wife
and what’s going on there, if anything.
Freud said all dreams are wish fulfillments,
but sometimes its hard to figure out the exact meaning
of your desire, though in the case
of your husband’s friend,
maybe you identify with his wife
because in some ways you hate yourself
as much as she seems to,
though for completely different reasons,
and the guy at work,
who knows, it was probably the enchiladas picante
you had for dinner or the four beers,
and maybe you are drinking too much these days,
though it rarely seems like enough,
your spine crawling up your back,
like a rat in a Skinner box, shaking so hard
at times you think you either have epilepsy
or are on the verge of samadhi,
though neither is your dream come true:
nirvana seems boring
and epilepsy, well, who needs more problems,
because when we close our eyes each night,
it’s review time, quel calvaire,
familiar but hideous,
despite the sexual release with odd partners,
and running down a tawdry neon street
you find yourself aloft, soaring
over the paltry world, so far away
it suddenly seems lovely,
like an intricate toy town,
with tiny perfect people doing tiny perfect things,
but you always plummet to earth, a hard fall
into the amorous arms of the most peculiar people,
yet everyone has his attractions,
so when your husband tries to wake you,
you say, wait, wait, one more fall, one more kiss.

Last updated November 12, 2022