Dreaming of Magic Trees
In the Heartland, in a half empty
parking lot, in front of a treeless
horizon, standing next to my car, between
melting snowbanks, awkwardly stretching,
a woman in a spot over noticed me and
locked her doors. I thought about how
empty the sky was in middle of the afternoon
and how the Cirrus clouds seem to stretch
blue light to gray, as a part of me debated
to knock on the woman’s window and tell her,
the woolen loops of her knitted shawl
reminded me of my grandmother.
I often find myself, sitting
on the steps of a detached train car,
mounted to track attached to nothing.
I imagine the car rocking back and forth
like an off balance washer, thumping
through main street, as it coasts
into jagged spirals of cherry blossoms
shook loose from trees. I pretend
to see all of America, and clench
my breath in my chest as I hope
to see someone like me at its heart.
In between bites of oatmeal,
I told you of the fever dreams
of magic trees I had, how
demons tore into the bark of
the trees like rope burn
and how they licked the sap
from their claws. At four AM,
I told you about the nightmares
of you dying. How they were just
empty blackness and sawdust.
You smiled and told me
to go back to sleep and dream
of the safety of the magic
trees, I told you about earlier.
By Donald Paris
Donald Paris graduated from Queens University of Charlotte’s Creative Writing MFA program. His work has appeared in The Other Journal, Sonic Boom, and Public Pool. He can be followed on Twitter @DonaldParis