Five Points, Vol. 15 No. 3Fall 2013
From Lydia Davis, “I suppose obsession is something many or most of us are prone to at least from time to time.”
A Dream with Old Men Inside It
One man has sawdust
salting his shoulders and the back
of his head which is bowed, and his right thumb
waves a little behind his back;
he is standing in a line with other men.
Another man with curly white
hair and eyeglasses—specs,
he called them—sliding down his nose,
is looking around like a tree root
twisted out of the ground. One more
I see who has but one arm
has built a boat, impractically,
but such are all wonders, besides
there is one more man—and once he called
a slow boy I knew Lightnin’:
Get up there Lightnin’, he said with gravel
rattling in his craw—this man
is standing on the top of the boat
with the chain of a steam whistle looped
around his finger, the whistle being
I realize now unnecessary
and another whim of the one-armed man;
still this last is standing there
surveying the conditions of the water.
And finally there’s Mr. Short,
the barber: by God, he’s riding a horse!
I know why water was in my dream,
and these old men, too; they are not yet,
they are not yet gone away from me.