In the first dream I’ve had since your funeral, you are
wearing your wedding gown again—not a dead man’s
lace but mermaid, slim as your body was. In the dream
I play your skin like the largest organ in the world.
I perambulate the bodied deserts of our love. Never say
“the bodied deserts of our love,” you tell me. But darling,
it’s my dream and I can cloy if I want to. And suddenly
your body is a beautiful orchestra of birds. They sing Mahler
or something. At our wedding you asked me what we had to lose.
I said not a thing. I’m telling you now I was wrong. Consider
this a belated, laden apology. My fingers ballet on your skin as if
dance could ever be enough. You fade before me like light against

the cruel horizon. Why’d you die, you old queen, in pajamas, I ask
in the voice that means: What am I going to do without you?


J.M. Gamble is a Ph.D. student in Women's Studies and English at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared in The Rumpus, SOFTBLOW, and The Collapsar, among others.