How heavy his memory grows.
So he rests awhile and dreams
in the forest of light and odor.
Foxes come, and hawks,
and the small, mean words from home
that saw him as he was.
The rivers here run clear and bright,
his dreams and memories do not.
They seem to recall joy among the monsters.
And caves in which the
rustling of forms confused him
as to what he loves.
Which is why he leans again on beauty,
the wild shape that moves
like the dark below the sea.
The lies I dream are stars.
They prick the sky and sink.
Where they fall shows what I hate,
all the sated hands of kings.
My general, singing into darkness
like a king. His happiness, an odor
caught in the air like roses. His mood full
of eels and cool light, like a little lake.
I almost love this trusting and uncluttered man,
his passing wonderments, his summer
of lavish yellow dust and butterflies,
his sallow furs.
But I think I must take something from him.
My own will, perhaps, my true dislike.
The right to pick which lies I tell.
© Patricia Nelson
Patricia Nelson is a former attorney, now retired and writing poetry. She is working on a book featuring monsters from various periods of literary history.