“strange country dreams”

two crows are perched above
a gray sky lingers like winter sweat
an army of locusts are slumbering in the earth
i await the day
out the door on folding roads
they lead nowhere and everywhere at once
arrival is a ritual born deep in the south
ginger root tea is offered round the table
woodsmoke is etched in facial lines
and conversation is slow in the taking
we have come to trade our lives
a soul wagering fortune is thrust about
the women are in the yard
tension builds to a tight-wire pitch
these occasions call for something stronger
the rusting lid is coaxed from the jar
the drink is communal
it burns and warms out the chill
the old shotgun stares down at me
no doubt it carries a message to all that enter
no one speaks
for there is no need
every story has been told a thousand times over
there will be no breaking of the bread
no well-wishes
i ask to step outside
it’s colder now
i cast my old copper penny
down the dream well it falls
in the balance of time i never hear the splash
no wishes remain
a distant alarm is sounding
the song remains the same
i only hope that when i am pulled from my slumber
my loving wife will remain…

-Jason Cyrus Akhtarekhavari


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