how distant can one dream another?
megan stockton

from MHPQ1


this is a day that hurt the night
energy efficient, together killing
time, superfluous possession
a sudden switch, each in their own chair
except – predictably, one chair too few
and one of the dogs is a bad example for the other


in this scene they matched outfits for the evening
each wearing another’s clothing
red velvet, striped shirts, straw hats
a phone will be ringing two doors down


in this scene the decades long river decides
who will sit next to who
causing a series of events orchestrated beyond our control
bodies move through space
desire flows mathematically, libidinal eye contact,
the accolades of her neutral look
quiet sequences follow

two of them sit next to each other on the couch
one is smoking, one sways in a rocking chair
that she won’t leave for the entire evening

one gets up from the couch to flip the record as
one comes back from the bathroom
to take her place on the couch,
where a knee touched another’s knee,
until a dog jumped up inserting himself between the two knees

one returned to sit in the wooden chair
one got up to dance to a song another put on
one dog spilled the glass of water
and another grabbed a rag to clean it
bumping into her in the kitchen washing dishes,

of course you don’t have to do that,
come sit, said one to the other
come sit by me, she meant,
but the other sat in the wooden chair

one poured a glass of wine for another
one left her seat to sit by another on the couch
one went out to smoke alone
another followed to check the grill
two of their hands touched when she passed the bottle
the dog makes someone sneeze

one misses another, another who misses them back
one misses no one, but is missed by many
by another in particular
one is afraid that her missing of another has subsided
where could it have gone?
she cannot see what could have taken its place
a place that felt so concrete at one point
could dissolve into all places
into placelessness
a gradual fade

a moth will make a light flicker
a stone will be an envelope for itself
what isn’t
what couldn’t be


in this scene one becomes jealous
one feels disconnect, one is cold from the breeze
the mosquitoes bite some more than others
just as the food makes one sick, not the others
one is anxious about the fog – how the sails will fold
how will I exhaust myself how will I know the hues
of day how will I find the water

one has a letter in her purse from another
one dreams of another’s hands
there is
a slow approach
to ask and ask and ask

one brings another a gift—
a small rock, slips it into another’s hand
that puts it in a pocket
she is too tired to say thank you
but she feels grateful, she thinks

one asks in spite
how long is your love letter
can it be shorter
can it birth flowers
can it rain drops as big as how I remember

they make each other up as totality
nothing as total as total darkness
nothing as total as total eclipse
nothing as total as having never arrived


in this scene she didn’t want his head on her lap
she did not want to feel maternal
she did not want to feel feminine
she did not want to have a body
she did not want to have a lap for his head to rest on


in this scene they all went out to see the eclipse
under the sky they waited
one had spare time, one hadn’t
one wrote the other in her time, sparing none
one made time at work to be spare
to write from the bathroom
a spare worker with no time to spare
never an excess of time on the clock
never an excess of time in love
only an excess of time in falling
in and out, excess of time in waiting
all time spare during an eclipse
there is excess time in having been left
before a leaving was announced

eventually, comes
but it is unclear when eventually has finally arrived
why seek out a darkness one of us wonders
cosmic timed, so rare — the rarity?

one worked at a diner
on sundays when they would run out of lemonade
the customers would say
but now i want it more than before
that’s funny she would say
desire is so basic
basic as can be

she has more questions
what’s a speculative bubble have to do with an eclipse
what is there that will certainly happen
what is there that certainly will not live
up to the worth its given through its lacking


there is an
odd pre-eclipse light
they are not sure if they should wake early or stay up
for daybreak
one is wrecked
one is content to gossip, to joke,
one forgot to feed the dogs
and why is that fucking palm always dying, one wonders

one wonders
at what time do you have the most success hunting?
at what time do the plants grow fastest?
at what time did you notice the water began to boil?
what time will she take the time to look this way, take time to
put words in the wrong order, heads on the wrong laps
the wrong heads in the right laps
the right head in the right lap

the eclipse is impressive and then over
imagine that sham, demanding its worth
barking at the wind like a fool
extinct language of
the honeymoon