You came to me last night (they always come while I’m sleeping because the waking world is too discordant and I’m too cacophonous and distant and we miss each other always), and in a language I could not consciously understand yet still knew you spoke your religion, you spoke rivers, pitch eyes shining, teeth glittering, earrings jangling, long slick tousled hair like shadowed mountains, ochre skin gleaning, a golden calf, a lesser god I was warned against idling by, idolizing this polished yet wild figment of a deity, but I doubt if their God were ever so beautiful and ever said so much as a word to me in dreaming or on earth, so I take what I can get. I shoved bits of your indescribable image into my pockets like the foreign medallions of white saints and prayed.
You will not remember your nighttime wanderings but I will, you will not realize what you say between the lines with eyes cast down and hand clutched tight and clasped around your spirit like medicine and the ways that I felt it.
What you do not say is often still heard loud in other ways, I know, I know, I still see, I still feel what you feel at night, what makes your legs ache and your heart rattle, what makes you gut moan, what you won’t intimate but what oozes from you despite yourself, who you worship, you gave me a bit of it in my dream.
Photo: “The Adoration of the Golden Calf” by Nicolas Poussin, details