SELF-ASSESSMENT: JUNE 2020
There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American Dream. —Archibald Macleish
There are cloudlets and things of cool silver in our dream. There are all of the things ethereal.—Gwendolyn Brooks
Each night, I petition the prospect of rest. Too often, I drift there recapping reports: so many arms are firing; even more limbs are igniting. Livability haslapsed into decrescendo. Outside, cloudlets of war gas steep the streets in our weeping. At once, I grieve and crave arrested breath—to embody a blank among other nothings. Isolation ward nurses learn to imitate touch with gloves full of warm water; they soften the onset of death’s blood-stilling cool. Out of necessity, I sometimes picture, mid-run, a miniature silver missile piercing an inch above my ear. I’ve saved enough, in case of the occasion, to need no donation campaign. Our martyrs are mounting. Our living persists. A black dream, to the Greeks, meant a nightmare. Certain projectiles linger there, suffusing the site of a cough for hours. Toppled bronze men are tarnishing in bolted vaults, one slaver’s statue lost underwater. All our crisis lines are overloaded, ICUs overbooked. No measure of protest bars my want for self-slaughter. Bedbound, I weather the news’s breaking footage and casualty counts, such routine things. At last, I don’t ask much else—just to become someone ethereal.
Kira Tucker is a poet from Memphis and a current MFA+MA candidate in poetry at Northwestern University. Their latest project is all about dreaming—a poetic investigation spanning the mythos of the American Dream and the landscapes of our collective unconscious.