NaPoWriMo Poem 1 ± April 1, 2017

Michael Mackin O’Mara
Dreams in Black & White

Ton souvenir en moi luit comme un ostensoir!
— Charles Baudelaire

My friend, You are dying. Not like the rest of us who think we are
dying every day. Each day the warden walks You through a
darkened hall. Each evening, in stark shadow, the reverend father
Mea Culpas, while the sweep hand of the large white faced clock
lurches, second by second, as it does in every film-noir. Through
each sedated night, You wait.

You wait.

There’s a mob at your door. They clamor like passbook holders in
a Pottersville bank run. They wish to cash in your promises, and it’s
the 80s all over again and your room’s gone retro & tighter than
Studio and since we can’t pass the doorman’s velvet rope we find
ourselves in extended imaginary conversations

where each moment, real or dreamt, is dissected, re-edited
frame by frame, replayed forward and back like a time-lapsed

All around You, as they wake to the moment, are lost in rerun
expectations of every Doctor Gillespie who ever glared intently at
a test tube raised between thumb and forefinger while from
across his forehead beads of perspiration tick, tick, tick like a
relentless clock. They corner your doctor till his god mask
shatters. They create hopes for a new doctor with his god intact.

—the door opens, the door opens again, I lock it,
in the dark, from these dreams, I startle to the soft
click of a door again opening, I see colors I think I
shouldn’t see, the red fabric of the wall, purple dark,
each sun, moon, and star of the printed cloth glows

for more than a moment I am afraid until
Welcome, I say aloud,

sleep reclaims me as the room
fades to everyday night.

In this dream You’ve become the priest reciting the last rites, in a
gold lined pouch next to Your heart You hold the last Eucharist; in
a crucible, the blessed oils, with Your thumb You smudge the sign
of salvation across my brow. In this dream we weave a tale of
spirit souls swimming a violet sky. In this dream, when You say
You are ready, I whisper: Take me with You.

And, for a time, it seems You do.


Michael Mackin O’Mara lives and works in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is the managing editor of the South Florida Poetry Journal.

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Here is today’s prompt (optional as always):

Write a poem about being at risk for HIV infection in 2017. For some information that might help your poetic process on this topic, check out this page on who is at risk for HIV.