Suppose you’re sitting in a church
with an old lover, watching a ceremony
from a pew that’s toward the back
and off to the side.
You stand, sit, kneel, chant, sing
and smile at each other. Pleased
with the ecumenical nature of things,
enjoying the light touches
that you exchange.
Then these people that you’ve never seen
break in and begin to do away with the priests
and other members of the congregation
in the most brutal of ways.
You turn to your lover for reassurance,
to make sure that it’s just a dream
And that the two of you can go on watching and playing.
But no one is there.
And you run out of the church
to save yourself and inform others
about the massacre.
Flying down the streets of the city where you were born,
pounding on doors and looking for help,
secretly pleased with your speed and agility.
And when you find someone who will let you in,
there’s your lover on TV, giving an interview
about how you seemed like a nice person
and about how no one could have expected
these atrocities from you.
So now you are heading for the river, looking for escape.
You live incognito for what seems like at least a year,
until you try to cross back over the river
and are apprehended by Federal Marshalls and more TV cameras.
Then you wake to the heat and touch
of the person that you love now, who was not the person in the dream.
Your lover’s face is soft and sleepy.
You’re quiet and penitent about what you’ve done.