The dreamery by Annie Stenzel

The dreamery

Such an odd thing to see on Sleep-o-Vision. Wall-to-wall
nuance, bursting at the seams with classic symbols.
Wasn’t there a great horned owl? Definitely a door giving way
into a glade, a path edged with primroses, various colors.

And then, to have the dream twice the same night, barely
altered after a brief awakening. Same owl? Maybe
a different door. But dreams are flimsy—too
delicate to survive the microscope. The light of day

dispels them the way fog on the Bay shifts
from thin to gone once the sun walks in.
Fruitless to wonder why this? why that? where
dreams are concerned. Science has tried for years

to hammer theories into submission. But that reminds me
of what happens when you try to nail water onto water.


Annie Stenzel (she/her) was born in Illinois, but did not stay put. Her full-length collection is The First Home Air After Absence (Big Table Publishing, 2017). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in print and online journals in the U.S. and the U.K., including Atlas and Alice, Chestnut Review, Galway Review, On the Seawall, Rust + Moth, SoFloPoJo, SWWIM, and UCity Review. A poetry editor for the online journals Right Hand Pointing and West Trestle Review, she lives on unceded Ohlone land within walking distance of the San Francisco Bay.

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