By Eileen Murphy

In my recurring dream
my brother appears
not eighteen like he was
when he blew the bullet
through his brain
because he couldn't bear
the ugly drugs
He's eight, curled up
in an armchair in his pajamas,
watching TV my apartment
alive as you please.
I scoop him up
and he smells like bananas
and doesn't pull away
as he did sometimes in real life.

In that same dream
my long-ago dog Bandit rushes towards me.
I had to "put him to sleep,"
he's gone too.

Then my dead grandma
surprises me, dropping in stopping in to say hi.
She rings my doorbell
wearing her winter coat
and when I open the door
she is bending down
to straighten her hem.

Brother, grandma, dog,
they're all still alive in that bottomless cave
that connects the twin mountains
of waking and sleep.

Mishmurphy@aol.comI have been writing poetry for many years, but recently moved back to Lakeland, Florida, where I grew up, in order to concentrate on writing and to escape my previous lawyer career. I live with my boyfriend who is also a writer, my dog Mish, my cat Lucky, and my fish Finny, Nubie and Peter. We are surrounded by cow pastures and orange groves, and try to grow most of our own produce. We share the back yard with a family of foxes, a bunch of black snakes, at least one gopher turtle, and about a million mosquitoes.

I have published poetry in KotaPress Journal, The Louisville Review, Emergence, The Kerf, Poetry Motel, Neovictorian/Cochlea, George & Mertie's Place, Lonzie's Fried Chicken, The Post-Amerikan and Black Dirt, short stories in Hair Trigger and Emergence, and a book review in Rhino.


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