Last Night I Dreamt

Last Night I Dreamt
by Kevin Risner

I was

at an airport                wearing my resilient Adidas

the whole time                        setting off metal detectors

scuffing an asbestos cloud                  left by the last century

in the middle of the gate                      & over the walking escalators

clouds are a gift for those                    who are late for that flight that’s late


people I never would have considered

both of my grandmothers

walked onto the scene


out of the haze                                                I ran to them

shaking & trembling                                     body swelling up with a glee

no comportment

would prevent

that was truly them there!      

I called out to them

I was within an inch of them


their vacant stares                   were latching onto

vacant futures


all they wanted

to do was        to get to the proper terminal

sit at that gate


& do nothing else

but                              they had to hear me

they had to hear me

they had to hear me


three: the magic number

good or bad luck?


if I could just say their names three times

a simple hi that many times


then maybe they’d turn

they would

                                                  they’d do it


                                                            they had to

recognize me

even if I snatched them from the vast beyond

even if they want to return into a place

where those who left us

can come back

full & complete & cognizant

just turn

turn turn

turn to the skies

to a line of spent fuel

cotton contrails

how long will it take

for memories

to dissipate

to evaporate


how long will it take to fly

to a place they’d have reached

by now


a place where I knew

I could just

take a long breath when all is said & done


& be there

where they sing

a hymn that chimes like birds


& it will rattle in

my chest when I wake up


Kevin A. Risner is writing instructor and ESL Coordinator at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His work can be found online in multiple locations including Rise Up Review, Rising Phoenix Review, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Ghost City Review, The Wire’s Dream and others. He has two short poetry collections available: My Ear is a Sieve (Bottlecap Press, 2017) and Lucid (The Poetry Annals, 2018).