Last night, two years after your death, Mom,
I dreamed you lived in a tiny apartment in Chicago
beneath some factory that churned out silverware,
and the whole time I visited, we could hear
the clanging of knives and forks being born upstairs.
You had me check out a leak in your bedroom
and indeed there was a little trickle
dripping down, probably ruining the drywall—
so, I said you’d better get a handyman right over
before the mold set in. In this dream, mom, you’d
never fallen to dementia. You still walked with
a steady gait and when you spoke, every single
word made sense. When I awoke
the factory had vanished, so I made coffee
and whispered to myself the way we do
when dreams end too soon and the morning
burns outside the kitchen window, sets
this latest world on fire.
Jesse Millner’s poems have appeared most recently in Gravel, Wraparound South and The Florida Review. He teaches writing courses at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers.